Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



The Trade Act of 1974 amended section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, and thereby substantially modified the procedures for the conduct of United States International Trade Commission investigations concerning unfair practices in import trade. The Trade Act changed the role of the ITC from that of a relatively passive adviser on potential courses of action to the President to that of final judge, subject to Presidential override and judicial review, of whether a violation of the Act has occurred. Additionally, the Trade Act provides that in the event that the violation is found, the ITC may now issue cease and desist orders. Prior to passage of the Act, exclusion of the articles of trade from entry into the United States was the only remedy for violation...

This article will seek to explain the origins of this hybrid tariff/antitrust statute and why the statute was interpreted and enforced in a fashion totally at odds with public interest concepts and recent judicial pronouncements. Further, although the Trade Act established a mandate protecting the public interest, many questions remain concerning the adequacy of the responses of the Commission and the President to the public interest, the ability of the Commission to fulfill its mandate in spite of resource limitations, and the statutory time restraints provided by the new Act.