Briefing Paper No. 32

Anti-dumping Laws Trash Supercomputer Competition

By Christopher M. Dumler
October 14, 1997

Executive Summary

America’s anti-dumping laws punish consumers and penalize foreign companies trying to compete in the U.S. market. The dumping charge recently upheld against Japanese supercomputer makers shows the economic illogic and systematic unfairness of the law.

By imposing punitive tariffs of up to 454 percent, the U.S. Department of Commerce has effectively killed import competition in the domestic supercomputer market. As a result, a federally funded agency has been forced to cancel a contract—depriving taxpayers and consumers alike of the full benefits of price competition.

The law is so biased against importers that the Commerce Department upholds 96 percent of the initial claims it receives. As a result, the law has become merely a tool to protect domestic industries from competition. Congress should repeal the anti-dumping code.

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Christopher M. Dumler is an international economist in Washington, D.C., specializing in high-technology trade issues.