The Retroactive Application of the Antidumping Act of 1921

Johnson, Thomas E. | January 1, 1979

In 1921, the United States Congress enacted the Antidumping Act which provides for the imposition of dumping duties on imports sold to United States merchants at prices below their fair value. The Act permits the assessment of dumping duties retroactively on merchandise imported up to one hundred and twenty days before a complaint of dumping has been filed with the Commissioner of Customs. Mr. Johnson examines the retroactive provisions of the Act and its regulations, the case law surrounding those provisions, and the constitutionality of the provisions. Against this background, he concludes that the retroactive application of the Act, particularly with regard to the period prior to the withholding of appraisement, is not onlyunfair to importers and inconsistent with U.S. free trade policy, but also in violation of the due process and equalprotection clauses of the U. S. Constitution.