Case 220 - Harley-Davidson and Adjusting to the Costs of Free Trade
Baltzan, Beth and Abigail Tate
This case study examines Harley-Davidson’s 1982 antidumping petition with the U.S. International Trade Commission against Japanese producers of motorcycles under Section 201 (known as the “Escape Clause” in the United States, and “safeguards policy” under international law) of the Trade Act of 1974. The case illustrates several important characteristics of protectionism in the United States, beginning with the fact that U.S. trade policy measures like the Escape Clause are legalistic. Consequently, the ITC tends to be insulated from blatantly protectionist politics and must be persuaded that a petitioner’s case under that section of the law has merit. As the case study explains, Harley Davidson was successful in its petition and used the respite from Japanese competition to reorganize and become competitive.