If the Obama administration and Congress are truly concerned about U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and increasing export opportunities, then antidumping policy must be reformed. Imports of raw materials, intermediate goods and capital equipment — products consumed by U.S. producers — account for the majority of U.S. import value. Meanwhile, those kinds of manufacturing inputs are subject to 4 out of every 5 antidumping measures imposed. The case is clear that current U.S. antidumping policy undermines U.S. manufacturing competitiveness at home and abroad, and reform is imperative.
In light of the Obama administration’s efforts to facilitate export growth and help improve U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, three panels of experts will discuss various features of U.S. antidumping law that undermine those objectives and offer proposals for reform.
Opening Remarks: Antidumping and U.S. Competitiveness: Something Has Got to Give
Dan Ikenson, Associate Director, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute
Panel 1: An Ounce of Prevention: Limiting the Scope for Collateral Damage in the Early Stages of an Antidumping Investigation
Lax standards for initiating antidumping investigations conspire with an asymmetric injury analysis that ignores the consequences of duties on consuming industries and the economy at large to produce externalized costs. Panelists will discuss the imperative of adding rigor to case initiation standards; granting legal standing to firms in consuming industries; requiring the results of an analysis of the economic costs and benefits of any prospective antidumping measures to be considered; and more.
Moderator: Lewis Leibowitz, Esq., Hogan Lovells and Chairman, National Association of Foreign Trade Zones
Panelists: Erik Autor, Vice President, International Trade Counsel, National Retail Federation
Dr. J. Michael Finger, Trade Economist and Author, Former Lead Economist and Chief of the World Bank’s Trade Policy Research Group
Gary Horlick, Esq., Law Offices of Gary N. Horlick, Former International Trade Counsel, U.S. Senate Finance Committee, and Former Head of Import Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
Panel 2: Just Because It’s Legal Doesn’t Mean It’s Right: Reining in Rough Justice at the Commerce Department
Import Administration at the Commerce Department employs calculation procedures and methods that unequivocally inflate dumping margins, hence the rates of duty imposed. Some of those procedures serve no legitimate analytical purpose. Others can be conducted in manners that are less likely to produce skewed results. Panelists will discuss some of the more egregious methodological quirks and offer some commonsense solutions.
Moderator: Gary Horlick, Esq., Law Offices of Gary N. Horlick, Former International Trade Counsel, U.S. Senate Finance Committee, and Former Head of Import Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
Panelists: Robert La Frankie, Esq., Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP and Former Senior Attorney, Office of Chief Counsel, Import Administration. U.S. Department of Commerce
Matt Nicely, Esq., Thompson Hine LLP and Adjunct Professor, “The U.S. Trade Regime,” American University, Washington College of Law
Daniel Porter, Esq., Winston & Strawn LLP
Panel 3: Containing the Spill: Meta-Reforms to Mitigate the Externalized Costs of AD Measures
Recognizing that antidumping measures saddle other domestic interests with higher costs, stymie commerce by virtue of the uncertainty created about final duty liability, and make it more difficult for downstream U.S. producers to compete at home and abroad, this panel of experts will discuss various reforms that could reduce some of the purely punitive aspects of the current system.
Moderator: Daniel Ikenson, Associate Director, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute
Panelists: Peggy Clarke, Esq., Blank Rome LLP and Adjunct Professor, Trade Remedies Law, George Washington University Law School
Lewis Leibowitz, Esq., Hogan Lovells and Chairman, National Association of Foreign Trade Zones
Marguerite Trossevin, Esq., Jochum Shore & Trossevin, PC and Former Deputy Chief Counsel, Import Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
Related Cato publications on Antidumping policy:
Economic Self-Flagellation: How U.S. Antidumping Policy Subverts the National Export Initiative – May 2011
Protection Made to Order: Domestic Industry’s Capture and Reconfiguration of U.S. Antidumping Policy – December 2010
All Quiet on the Antidumping Front? Take a Closer Look – September 2006
Abuse of Discretion: Time to Fix the Administration of the U.S. Antidumping Law – October 2005
Shell Games and Fortune Tellers: The Sun Doesn’t Set at the Antidumping Circus – June 2005
Nonmarket Nonsense: U.S. Antidumping Policy toward China – March 2005
Poster Child for Reform: The Antidumping Case on Bedroom Furniture from China – June 2004
Zeroing In: Antidumping’s Flawed Methodology under Fire – April 2004
“Byrdening” Relations: U.S. Trade Policies Continue to Flout the Rules – January 2004
Reforming the Antidumping Agreement: A Road Map for WTO Negotiations – December 2002
Antidumping 101: The Devilish Details of “Unfair Trade” Law – November 2002
Coming Home to Roost: Proliferating Antidumping Laws and the Growing Threat to U.S. Exports – July 2001