Your Dec. 20 editorial indicates that The Washington Post openly sanctions violation of the antidumping law of this nation. You appear to do so by condemning the government's triggerprice mechanism for steel imports, arguing that it is inflationary and "wrong in principle."
You acknowledge that at the time trigger-pricing was devised to monitor the widespread dumping of steel in this country, it was an "ingenious idea." Yet what was true then is true now: Without some monitoring mechanism such as trigger-pricing, there is no doubt that foreign steel producers would be practicing umping to a greater extent than is now the case. If the import price levels have risen, it is because the monitoring has caused the foreign producers to become concerned about the dumping that has been taking place.
There are two facts to keep in mind concerning trigger-pricing: It would have been unnecessary had our government over the years enforced the antidumping law of this country; it would have been unnecessary had foreign steel-makers oberved that law and other rules of fair international trade in the first place, rather than dumping steel into the open U.S. market from the vantage of protecked markets.
For example, the Department of State, in a communciation to the Commission of the European Community, strongly protested the quotas and minimum-import prices for steel imposed by the EEC. And, well all know the problems of selling any goods to Japan.
On oct, 13, 1977, President Carter spoke of "derogation of duty" with respect to the lax enforcement of the U.S. anti-dumping law as it applies to steel. He acknowledged that steel dumping has occurred, and he promised "vigorous enforcement" of the law. Hence, the creation of trigger-pricing to monitor the imports to determine whenever Treasury should initiate dumping investigations. Trigger-pricing has not kept any steel from entering. Imports this year will equal or exceed last year's.
The very fact that this administration had to create triggert this administration of the need for strengthening the antidumping and fair-trade legislation now on the books. We trust that the new Congress and the executive branch will make this a priority goal in 1979.