Private Response to Foreign Unfair Trade Practices–United States and EEC Complaint Procedures

Brocnkers, Marco C.E.J. | January 1, 1984

This article will consider the effect of private complaint procedures on trade relations between GATT contracting parties. It will first ad- dress the complaint procedure established by Section 301 of the U.S. Trade Act of 1974 (“Section 301”). Following a survey of the scope of the Executive’s retaliatory authority, this article will sketch the history of the private remedy created by Section 301. Next the discussion will fo- cus on three procedural themes: (i) the requirements private complain- ants must meet in order to successfully invoke Section 301, (ii) the relief private complainants can expect once the United States government takes up their complaints and (iii) the position of Section 301 vis-a’-vis other private remedies in United States trade law, particularly with re- gard to the United States domestic market. This article will then ex- amine the origin and outlook of the novel Community complaint procedure (“the EEC instrument”), which Section 301 fomented, with reference to the themes outlined above. Finally, this study will appraise both the potential and the pitfalls of private involvement in the enforce- ment of GATT commitments.