The Treasury Department's Administration of the Antidumping Act of 1921

Gao ID: GGD-78-60 April 14, 1978

Questions were raised about the Treasury Department's administration of the Antidumping Act of 1921 to determine whether the act is effective in countering unfair foreign competition involving the sale of imported merchandise in the United States at less than fair value, and whether Treasury has been dilatory in its administration of the act. Questions dealt with the time involved in dumping investigations, enforcement of bonding requirements, problems in assessing dumping duties, cooperation of foreign parties, revocation of dumping findings, and the effect of dumping duties on prices. It is difficult to establish a cause-effect relationship between the price of imported merchandise and Treasury's determinations of dumping and assessment of dumping duties. However, a dumping investigation creates enough market uncertainty to prompt adjustments in the price or quantity of imports. While dumping duty assessments have rarely been timely, the potential liability for such duties is known when dumping determinations are made, and this should cause some adjustments. Treasury and the International Trade Commission have met statutory time frames for the processes involved in determining whether dumping duties should be assessed. Delays in assessment are due partly to the complexities of price comparisons, but are also due to the low priority given to this function. The Customs Service has taken actions which should help to reduce delays.

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