Your editorial of Dec. 20 challenging the steel trigger-price mechanism as inflationary deserves comment because it fails to mention two critical points.

First, it fails to examine what the inflationary effect would be if trigger-pricing were abolished and antidumping suits were re-instituted by domestic steel companies. Some 23 antidumping complaints against all major steel-mill products of the world's major steel producers were pending before trigger prices were established. If the claims of those petitions are correct, the price impact of prosecution of those complaints might be much more severe than the price impact of the trigger-price mechanism. As you are aware, trigger-pricing is being attacked by domestic producers for being too low a benchmark for the possible dumping of steel from Europe -- the ksource of 35 percent of our imported steel.

Second, your editorial did not mention that the domestic steel companies have publicly committed themselves to abiding by the president's wage-price guidelines. Thus, price increases of domestic steel will be no greater than price increases allowed other domestic industries under the president's anti-inflation program.

Overall, the antidumping law itself may be inflationary because it in effect produces short-term price rises by requiring import competition to be at "fair value." The trigger-price mechanism is designed to carry out the congressionally mandated task. It is carefully designed to be the least inflationary approach to effective enforcement of the antidumping law.