Export Prices and Export Cartels (Webb-Pomerene Associations)

By Milton Gilbert; Paul D. Dickens | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV

THE PROBLEMS INVOLVED IN COMPARING DOMESTIC AND EXPORT PRICES
Anyone examining the invoices of most manufacturing establishments covering the sales of a particular product for even as short a period as a month will find a bewildering array of prices which might appear incapable of comparison. The complexity of the comparability problem will be evident in the existence of different prices to retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and other manufacturers, f. o. b. prices and delivered prices, quantity discounts, advertising allowances, varying credit terms, combination offers, f. a. s. prices, c. i. f. prices, agents' commissions, packing charges, or the nominal prices used to record transfers of the products to subsidiary companies at home or abroad. This confusing assortment of invoice prices attests to the fact that a price usually includes some service or group of services as well as the product itself and makes it clear that a very careful definition of price must be formulated before meaningful comparisons between domestic and export prices can be made.One might expect that precise definition would be found in the vast body of antidumping legislation that exists throughout the world. But the standards of price equality which are elaborated in antidumping legislation are generally inadequate for our purpose. They cover a variety of practices or types of dumping which have no relation to this study and, furthermore, the definitions are in such general terms as to have little meaning unless implemented by many administrative regulations. The general character of antidumping legislation can be seen from the following summary from a report of the Federal Trade Commission of usual provisions for which dumping duties will be imposed:
1. Goods imported at prices less than the "domestic value," "market prices," or the "fair market value" in the country of manufacture or export plus expenses incident to packing and transportation.
2. Goods imported at prices less than the cost of production in the country of origin, or less than the cost of production of similar goods in the country of importation.
3. Importation of goods sold at "less than a reasonable price," or at "an unfair price."
4. Importation on consignment, of goods which may be sold at less than a reasonable price.
5. Importation of goods freight free, or at ballast rates of freight, or in subsidized ships at rates of freight lower than the freight rates prevailing at the date of shipment.
6. Importation from a country in which the exchange value or currency has depreciated, resulting in prices detrimental to industries in the country of importation.
7. Importation of goods upon which a bounty, bonus, rebate, or subsidy has or will be granted in the country of production and/or exportation.1
____________________
1
Federal Trade Commission, "Alleged Dumping of American Goods in Foreign Markets," 1926, pp. 16-17. (Mimeographed report.)

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