Publication Citation

4 (2) IUSTITIA 36 (1977)


For the most prolonged period of time in recent history, American corporations have been experiencing difficulties in dealing with foreign economic competition. Consequently, there has been a growing interest in finding ways to enhance the marketing strength of American firms competing with foreign firms in foreign markets. This is not the first time concern with American firms' competitive strength has been articulated; the Webb- Pomerene Act of 1918 was an attempt by Congress to vitalize American exporting firms. Since 1918, the Webb-Pomerene Act has been the subject of disagreement as to its usefulness and effectiveness in achieving its stated goal. The purpose of this article is to examine the Act's rationale and effectiveness, as well as a newly emerging issue: the status of export associations, formed pursuant to the Act, in the light of freeworld antitrust legislation and enforcement. A determination of that status is important because even if the Act remains unchanged, American export associations operating under it must still consider what antitrust issues must be dealt with abroad.

This article is divided into two parts. The first is a discussion of the history of the Act, the reasons advanced for its enactment, and the Act's performance in meeting its ends.

The second part of this article will describe briefly some of the antitrust statutes of member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Economic Community (EEC), as well as a study of the recently issued OECD "Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises." This article will also examine the status of Webb associations under these statutes and guidelines.