Prosecuting antidumping and countervailing duty cases in the United States of America

  • Johan Lindeque

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


This thesis takes a corporate political strategy perspective of antidumping and countervailing duty cases to understand why some firms are more successful at the prosecution of these trade remedy measures. Trade remedy measures are long standing tools of US trade policy and their use has continued to grow globally amongst member countries of the World Trade Organisation. Between 1980 and 2007 a total of 1606 of these trade remedy cases were investigated by the Department of Commerce and International Trade Commission, an average of 41 antidumping and 17 countervailing duty cases a year, with a value of around US$ 63 billion or 0.3% of all US imports. Thirty-seven percent of the cases by number and 54% by value resulted in duties being imposed on the subject imports. This study uses archival material for five recent trade remedy investigations and forty-five semistructured interviews with business interests, trade attorneys and economic consultants that have experience of prosecuting these cases to understand why some firms may be more successful than others at achieving their preferred policy outcome. The imposition of duties is found to be only the simplest measure of success for US firms that file a case and does not capture the range of potential outcomes for foreign firms that face the duties. Successful prosecution of a trade case has been found to be firm specific, as the DOC determination of individual firm duty rates significantly affects what the outcome of case means for each firm in the US and foreign industries. The successful prosecution of US trade remedy cases is argued to be an informational corporate political strategy that is affected by statutory and administrative biases in the execution of the agency investigations, and creates the potential for indirect rent-seeking bias in the outcomes of cases. This informational corporate political strategy is based on three capabilities that firms need to develop, the capability to gather information, the capability to build and shape the administrative record at the agencies to reflect a firm’s policy preferences and the capability to align business practices with the US trade remedy institutions. These three capabilities are enabled by the bundling of corporate political expertise resources, organisational resources, financial resources and reputational resources. Some of these resources are internal to the firms, including staff, money and information, while other resources are external, such as the trade attorneys and economic consultants.
Date of Award1 May 2008
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorSteven McGuire (Supervisor)


  • countervailing duty
  • trdource-based view
  • trade remedy cases
  • antidumping
  • corporate political activity

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