Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act is Not a Jurisdictional Bar to Antitrust Suit


In Animal Science Products, Inc. v. China Minmetals Corp., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit overturned its prior decisions in Turicentro, S.A. v. Am. Airlines Inc. and Carpet Group Int’l v. Oriental Rug Importers Ass’n, and held that the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (the “FTAIA”) sets forth substantive merits requirements for private antitrust claims rather than a jurisdictional threshold to antitrust suits brought in connection with foreign commerce and international trade.

The Sherman Act, the primary source of U.S. antitrust law, was limited in scope by the FTAIA, which provides that the Sherman Act will not apply to conduct involving trade or commerce with foreign nations. There are two exceptions. Under the “import trade or commerce” exception, the Sherman Act will apply where the defendants are involved in import trade or import commerce. Under the “effects” exception, the Sherman Act will apply where the conduct at issue in the antitrust action has a direct, substantial, and reasonably foreseeable effect on domestic, import, or export commerce.

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