Antitrust and the Formation of the Postwar World (Columbia by Wyatt Wells

By Wyatt Wells

This present day antitrust legislation shapes the coverage of virtually each huge corporation, irrespective of the place centered. yet this wasn't continuously the case. ahead of global struggle II, the legislation of such a lot business international locations tolerated or even inspired cartels, while American statutes banned them. within the wake of global struggle II, the USA dedicated substantial assets to construction a liberal fiscal order, which Washington believed used to be essential to maintaining not just prosperity but in addition peace after the battle. Antitrust used to be a cornerstone of that coverage. This interesting publication indicates how the us sought to impose -- and with what effects -- its antitrust coverage on different international locations, specially in Europe and Japan. Wyatt Wells chronicles how the assault on cartels and monopoly out of the country affected every thing from strength coverage and alternate negotiations to the profession of Germany and Japan. He indicates how a small crew of zealots led by way of Thurman Arnold, who turned head of the Justice Department's Antitrust department in 1938, specified cartels and big businesses in the course of the global: IG Farben of Germany, Mitsui and Mitsubishi of Japan, Imperial Chemical Industries of england, Philips of the Netherlands, DuPont and basic electrical of the us, and extra. Wells brilliantly exhibits how thus, the architects of the postwar economic climate -- significantly Lucius Clay, John McCloy, William Clayton, Jean Monnet, and Ludwig Erhard -- uncoupled political ideology from antitrust coverage, reworking Arnold's attempt right into a capability to advertise company potency and inspire pageant.

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Extra info for Antitrust and the Formation of the Postwar World (Columbia Studies in Contemporary American History)

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Policy toward international cartels at this time demonstrated considerable ambivalence. The 1918 Webb-Pomerene Act allowed American producers in the same line of business to form joint companies to manage their exports. Designed to allow American firms to present a common front to large foreign purchasers such as governments and to enable small firms to reduce the cost of selling abroad by working together, the act also had substantial utility for cartel builders. As early as 1918, American copper producers, which at that time dominated the world industry, had organized a cartel under the aegis of a Webb-Pomerene corporation.

This legislation did, however, restrict some of the most objectionable practices of big business. The Standard Oil decision summed up, as much as anything, the implicit compromise on big business that emerged from the Progressive Era. The country would accept large companies as long as they were efficient and stopped short of monopoly. Accordingly, many industries developed into oligopolies, dominated by a handful of very big enterprises that competed, albeit cautiously. Some dissented from this compromise.

Industrial diplomats came to hold important, sometimes dominant, positions in companies. G. , Du Pont—developed a ‘foreign policy’ that encompassed a range of mutual problems, including not only market restraints but also technological exchanges, joint ventures, intercompany investments, and related matters. ”64 Executives like Harry McGowan of Imperial Chemical and Gerard Swope of GE rose to leadership in their firms on their skills as industrial diplomats. Of course, cartels did not abolish markets.

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