Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



This Article explores the underlying propositions that the United States antitrust agencies have created a barrier to the export of United States industrial goods or have impeded their domestic manufacture with respect to this nation's major trading partners. We conclude that neither proposition is well supported by solid evidence, although improved cooperation among Government and business and a less litigious climate are desirable in this area as well as all other industry-government relations." This Article first considers the impact of antitrust enforcement on the export or overseas distribution stage of United States domestic producers and then turns to the effect of United States policy on domestic versus overseas production...

In theory, United States antitrust policy could harm the United States balance of trade by discouraging either the domestic production or overseas distribution of United States manufacturers. Undoubtedly, in the past United States agency actions have impeded the growth and development of domestic producers because of an unfounded hostility to growth and sometimes resultant increases in industrial concentration. However, this attitude has diminished in recent years. Moreover, there is clearly no evidence that price-fixing or other traditional violations of United States antitrust laws will render United States firms more efficient and competitive internationally. Exemptions to the laws against coordination and collusion for export operations of United States manufacturers have been available for years, though domestic firms have displayed little interest in them. A further extension of these exemptions recently has become available as a result of the Export Trading Company Act. If this Article's conclusions about the impact of United States Government antitrust policies are correct, one should expect to see little improvement in the United States balance of trade as a result of this legislation.