Concern over the dramatic competitive decline of the United States in the realm of free world exporting has led to the "introduction into the United States Senate of S. 144, the Export Trade Association Act of 1981, "[a] bill to encourage exports by facilitating the formation and operation of export trading companies, export trade associations, and the expansion of export trade services generally ... . m This bill contains two parts. Title I, referred to as the Export Trading Company Act of 1981, is intended to encourage the formation and operation of export trading companies by allowing financial institutions, such as banks, to invest in them. Title 11,2 referred to as the Export Trade Association Act of 1981 (hereinafter the "Association Act") would provide an exception from antitrust liability for the export trading activities of trading companies and other entities.

This Article will focus on Title II of S. 144, the Association Act, which would amend the provisions of the Webb-Pomerene Act of 19183 by rewriting it entirely. According to its sponsors, this new legislation clarifies the application of current antitrust laws to export trade associations and their activities. 4 The provisions of the Association Act will be examined in some detail and compared with those of the Webb-Pomerene Act. This analysis will also attempt to pinpoint some areas of potential ambiguity within the language of the amendments and will briefly address some of the implications of the proposed changes.

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