Ethical aspects of using government to subvert competition: Antidumping laws as a case study of rent seeking activity [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 83 (4):759 - 771 (2008)
This article examines the question of whether it is ethical for company officials to use the force of government to reduce or eliminate foreign competition, using the antidumping laws as a case study. This article begins with a brief examination of the U.S. antidumping laws and then examines several ethical questions related to the antidumping laws. The main question to be addressed is whether, and under what circumstances, it is ethical for domestic producers to ask government to launch an antidumping investigation against a foreign competitor. Related questions to be examined include (1) Whether it is ethical to ask the government to launch an antidumping investigation even when the domestic company making the request knows that dumping has not occurred; (2) Whether it is ethical to ask for an antidumping investigation in cases where dumping (according to the definition of dumping) has occurred, where the effect is to help domestic producers at the expense of the general public. This article examines these questions by applying both utilitarian and non-utilitarian approaches.
Keywords rent seeking  antidumping  utilitarian ethics  rights theory  special interest
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Frédéric Bastiat (1998). The Law. Foundation for Economic Education.

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