Interlocking Global Business Systems: The Restructuring of Industries, Economies and Capital Markets

By Edward B. Flowers; Thomas P. Chen et al. | Go to book overview

Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipes and Tubes-- Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela
This investigation was triggered as the result of a petition filed by:
Allied Tube and Conduit Corp, Harvey, IL
American Tube Co., Phoenix, AZ
Bull Moose Tube Co., Gerald, MO
Century Tube Corp., Pine Bluff, AR
Sawhill Tubular Division, Cyclops Corp., Sharon, PA
Laclede Steel Co., St. Louis, MO
Sharon Tube Co., Sharon, PA
Western Tube and Conduit Corp., Long Beach, CA
Wheatland Tube Corp., Collingswood, NJ ( U.S. International Trade Commission, 1992b, 1994b)

The Brazilian companies were found not guilty of receiving subsidies in the countervailing duty investigation. In the antidumping investigation, they were found guilty, on the basis of best information available and were assessed dumping margins of 103.38%. HYLSA, S.A. de C.V. and the other Mexican companies were assessed dumping margins of 32.62%. The Venezuelan companies were also found guilty of dumping and were assessed dumping margins of 52.51%.


CONCLUDING COMMENTS

The antidumping laws are based on a number of faulty premises. For one thing, actual dumping rarely occurs, because if it did, the company that does the dumping would probably go out of business. There are instances where a company sells its products, either in foreign or domestic markets, at less than the cost of production which, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce definition, includes variable cost plus a portion of fixed cost. Where this practice does occur, it is usually for good business reasons--the alternative to selling below cost may be to not sell at all. This is certainly the case for wilting flowers or aging tomatoes. Very seldom do companies sell at less than variable cost to drive out the competition with the intent of later capturing market share. The numerous studies that have been done on predatory pricing have either found that predatory pricing does not exist, or if it does exist, it benefits consumers.

Another faulty premise is that dumping is bad for the domestic economy. If a foreign producer does sell below cost, or for a lower price than in its home market (these are the two criteria for dumping), the practice benefits consumers--the general public. Domestic producers are harmed, but domestic producers constitute a small minority, although a concentrated one. In practice, the antidumping laws have been used as protectionist clubs by these special interest groups--domestic producers--to batter the competition at the expense of the general public.

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