Economic Perspectives On The Internet

.. ials. The Department of Commerce’s Office of Antiboycott Compliance (OAC) administers the program through ongoing investigations of corporate activities. OAC operates an automated boycott-reporting system providing statistical and enforcement data to Congress and to the public, issuing interpretations of the regulations for the affected public, and offering nonbinding informal guidance to the private sector on specific compliance concerns. U.S.

firms with questions about complying with antiboycott regulations should call OAC at 202-482-2381 or write to Office of Antiboycott Compliance, Bureau of Export Administration, Room 6098, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230. Antitrust Laws The U.S. antitrust laws reflect this nation’s commitment to an economy based on competition. They are intended to foster the efficient allocation of resources by providing consumers with goods and services at the lowest price that efficient business operations can profitably offer. Various foreign countries – including the European Union, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Australia – also have their own antitrust laws that U.S.

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firms must comply with when exporting to such nations. The U.S. antitrust statutes do not provide a checklist of specific requirements. Instead they set forth broad principles that are applied to the specific facts and circumstances of a business transaction. Under the U.S. antitrust laws, some types of trade restraints, known as per se violations, are regarded as conclusively illegal.

Per se violations include price-fixing agreements and conspiracies, divisions of markets by competitors, and certain group boycotts and tying arrangements. Most restraints of trade in the United States are judged under a second legal standard known as the rule of reason. The rule of reason requires a showing that certain acts occurred and such acts had an anti-competitive effect. Under the rule of reason, various factors are considered, including business justification, impact on prices and output in the market, barriers to entry, and market shares of the parties. In the case of exports by U.S.

firms, there are special limitations on the application of the per se and rule of reason tests by U.S. courts. Under Title IV of the Export Trading Company Act (also known as the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act), there must be a direct, substantial and reasonably foreseeable effect on the domestic or import commerce of the United States or on the export commerce of a U.S. person before an activity may be challenged under the Sherman Antitrust Act or the Federal Trade Commission Act (two of the primary federal antitrust statutes). This provision clarifies the particular circumstances under which the overseas activities of U.S. exporters may be challenged under these two antitrust statutes. Under Title III of the Export Trading Company Act (see Chapter 4) the Department of Commerce, with the concurrence of the U.S.

Department of Justice, can issue an export trade certificate of review that provides certain limited immunity from the federal and state antitrust laws. Although the great majority of international business transactions do not pose antitrust problems, antitrust issues may be raised in various types of transactions, among which are: o overseas distribution arrangements; o overseas joint ventures for research, manufacturing, construction, and distribution; o patent, trademark, copyright, and know-how licenses; o mergers and acquisitions involving foreign firms; and o raw material procurement agreements and concessions. The potential U.S. and foreign antitrust problems posed by such transactions are discussed in greater detail in Chapter 16. Where potential U.S.

or foreign antitrust issues are raised, it is advisable to obtain the advice and assistance of qualified antitrust counsel. For particular transactions that pose difficult antitrust issues, and for which an export trade certificate of review is not desired, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice can be asked to state its enforcement views in a business review letter. The business review procedure is initiated by writing a letter to the Antitrust Division describing the particular business transaction that is contemplated and requesting the department’s views on the antitrust legality of the transaction. Certain aspects of the federal antitrust enforcement policies regarding international transactions are explored in the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Enforcement Guidelines for International Operations (1995). Foreign Corrupt Practices Act It is unlawful for a U.S. firm (as well as any officer, directors employee, agent, or agent of a firm or any stockholder acting on behalf of the firm) to offer, pay, or promise to pay (or to authorize any such payment or promise) money or anything of value to any foreign official (or foreign political party or candidate for foreign political office) for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business.

It is also unlawful to make a payment to any person while knowing that all or a portion of the payment will be offered, given, or promised, directly or indirectly, to any foreign official (or foreign political party or candidate for foreign political office) for the purposes of assisting the firm in obtaining or retaining business. Knowing includes the concepts of conscious disregard and willful blindness. There is an exception to the antibribery provisions for facilitating payments for routine governmental action. The statute lists a number of examples. Actions similar to those listed are also covered by this exception.

A person charged with a violation of the antibribery provisions of the Federal Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) may assert as a defense that the payment was lawful under the written laws and regulations of the foreign country or that the payment was associated with demonstrating a product or performing a contractual obligation. Firms are subject to a fine of up to $2 million; officers, directors, employees, agents, and stockholders are subject to a fine of up to $100,000 and imprisonment for up to five years. The Attorney General can bring a civil action against a domestic concern (and the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] against an issuer) for a fine of up to $10,000 as well as against any officer, director, employee, or agent of an issuer, or stockholder acting on behalf of the firm, who willfully violates the antibribery provisions. Under federal criminal laws other than the FCPA, individuals may be fined up to $250,000 or up to twice the amount of the gross gain or gross loss if the defendant derives pecuniary gain from the offense or causes a pecuniary loss to another person. The Attorney General may also bring a civil action to enjoin any act or practice of a domestic concern (and the SEC with respect to an issuer) whenever it appears that the domestic concern or issuer (or an officer, director, employee, agent, or stockholder acting on behalf of the domestic concern or issuer) is in violation (or about to be) of the antibribery provisions. A person or firm found in violation of the FCPA may be barred from doing business with the federal government.

Indictment alone can lead to suspension of the right to do business with the U.S. Government. The Department of Justice has established an Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Opinion Procedure, the details of which are found at 28 CFR Part 77. Under the Opinion Procedure, any party may request a statement of the Justice Department’s present enforcement intentions under the antibribery provisions of the FCPA regarding any proposed business conduct. Conduct for which the Department of Justice has issued an opinion stating that the conduct conforms with current enforcement policy will be entitled to a presumption of conformity with the FCPA.

For further information from the Department of Justice about the FCPA and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Opinion Procedure, contact the Deputy Chief, Fraud Section, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice, Room 2424, Bond Building, 1400 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.20530, 202-514-0651 (FTS) 202-368-0651. The Department of Commerce supplies general information to U.S. exporters who have questions about the FCPA and about international developments concerning the FCPA and international bribery. For further information from the Department of Commerce about the FCPA, contact the Chief Counsel for International Commerce or the Senior Counsel for International Finance and Trade, Office of the Chief Counsel for International Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 5882, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20230, 202-482-0937.

Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency Restrictions In addition to the various export regulations that have been discussed, rules and regulations enforced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) also affect a limited number of exporters. Food and Drug Administration FDA enforces U.S. laws intended to assure the consumer that foods are pure and wholesome, that drugs and devices are safe and effective, and that cosmetics are safe. FDA has promulgated a wide range of regulations to enforce these goals. Exporters of products covered by FDA’s regulations are affected as follows: If the item is intended for export only, meets the specifications of the foreign purchaser, is not in conflict with the laws of the country to which it is to be shipped, and is properly labeled, it is exempt from the adulteration and misbranding provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (see 801(e)). This exemption does not apply to new drugs that have not been approved as safe and effective, or to certain devices and biologics. Additional requirements apply to these products. Banned new animal drugs may not be exported.

If the exporter thinks the export product may be covered by FDA, it is important to contact the nearest FDA field office or the Food and Drug Administration. Companies can make inquiries by writing to the FDA at 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857, calling 1-800-532-4440, or visiting the FDA Web site at: http://www.fda.gov. Environmental Protection Agency EPA regulates the export of hazardous waste, pesticides, toxic chemicals, and ozone deplete substances. Although EPA generally does not prohibit the export of these substances(there are some exceptions). There are various statutory notification systems design to inform receiving foreign governments that materials of possible human health or environmental concern will be entering their countries, and in some cases, allows for the foreign governments to object to such shipments. Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), there are two different sets of export regulations – one for exports of hazardous wastes moving for recycling within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (40 CFR 262 subpart H), and the other for non-OECD hazardous waste exports, as well as for hazardous wastes exported for treatment and disposal, both within and outside the OECD (40 CFR 262 subpart E). In both cases, exports are prohibited absent the consent of the importing government.

Exporters are required to notify EPA’s Office of Compliance (EPA/OC) in writing. EPA/OC then forwards the notification to the importing government (and to transit countries, if applicable). In some cases, the written consent of the importing government is required before the shipment may commence; in other cases, consent is considered tacit if there is no response from the importing government after 30 days. Exporters should be aware of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal This treaty bans trade in hazardous wastes between parties and nonparties unless there is a Basel-consistent bilateral agreement in place. Approximately 110 countries have ratified the Basel Convention; however, the U.S. has not. Therefore, exporters should be aware of potential trade restrictions.

Exporters of hazardous waste should contact either EPA’s Office of Compliance, Import/Export Program at 202-564-2290 or the RCRA/Superfund Hotline at 800-424-9346 or 703-412-9810. As for pesticides and other toxic chemicals, neither the federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) nor the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) requires exporters of banned or severely restricted chemicals to obtain written consent before shipping. However, exporters of unregistered pesticides or other chemicals subject to regulatory control actions must comply with certain notification requirements. Under TSCA importing countries are notified of the export or the intended export of many industrial chemicals or mixtures (40 CFR 707 subpart D). These chemicals or mixtures are subject to certain regulator actions taken under the act.

Exporters send to EPA, for each affected chemical or mixture, a notice for each country to which the chemical or mixture is exported. The notice is sent annually or only once, depending on the regulatory action controlling the chemical or mixture. The agency then informs the importing country of the regulatory action taken. These notices are also used to satisfy the information exchange provisions of the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedures, which are under the United Nations Environment Programme. For chemicals banned or severely restricted in the U.S.

and subject to the PIC procedures, EPA forwards to the designated national authority of the importing country information on the chemical’s regulatory controls. In addition, TSCA also prohibits the export of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and PCB-containing items in concentrations greater than or equal to 50 ppm, unless an exemption was granted. The TSCA hotline, 202-554-1404, can provide general information on these export requirements. A person may not export class I ozone-depleting substances, including chlorofluorcarbons (CFCs), to any country that is not a signatory to the international treaty entitled the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol). The United States is a signatory to the Montreal Protocol.Under authority of the Clean Air Act Amendations of 1990, the EPA published regulations prohibiting the expo Thesis and Dissertations.