Document Type


Publication Title

New York University Journal of International Law and Politics



Publication Date



steel industry, foreign competition, trigger price mechanism


The International Trade Commission asserted that for most of 1978 and probably for the indefinite future, the TPM was "the greatest single factor influencing the conditions of competition" in the U.S. steel industry. The precise contours of this influence are uncertain. While it is premature to assess adequately the economic impact of the TPM, it is possible to make some observations vis-a-vis our national antitrust policy goals. The TPM, like the steel VRA's of 1972, has had no discernable impact on increasing efficiency through expansion, modernization or development of domestic steel-making technology. The TPM, however, does have an impact on domestic pricing policies. By preventing foreign sellers from engaging in price competition, the TPM functions as a constraint on the number of foreign entrants into the U.S. market. This tends to produce anticompetitive results, since the number of sellers in an industry usually operates as a limit on the oligopolistic control of competition. Elimination of the TPM would probably not restore competition to the steel industry. Moreover, even if steel imports were to enter the U.S. market subject only to tariff restraints, they would not necessarily affect the domestic industry's policies and practices, which have historically proven oblivious to confrontation from imports.