ANATOMY OF A TRADE DISPUTE: A Documentary History of the Kodak - Fuji Film Dispute

James P. Durling

Although there have been many trade disputes adjudicated before the WTO, the battle between the United States and Japan over consumer photographic film stands out as a landmark struggle. Known more popularly as the “Film Dispute” or the “Kodak-Fuji Dispute”, this particular trade conflict received an unprecedented amount of media, academic, and international attention. The impact of this case continues to reverberate, as different interests have cited it for the various lessons that have to be learned.

The Film Dispute represents a textbook example of a trade policy battle. The combination of two fierce commercial rivals, contentious cutting edge policy issues, intensely disputed facts, aggressive advocacy, and two determined governments all make this an ideal case-study to analyse the different elements and evolving dynamics of a trade policy battle. Indeed, the Film Dispute has already inspired a number of formal and informal studies in classrooms worldwide. In a remarkable display of interdisciplinary interest, professors have taught this case in law schools, business schools, public policy programs, and even in undergraduate and graduate political science courses.

James P. Durling, one of America’s leading private practitioners - who advised the Japanese side throughout this case - has now written the definitive history of the Film Dispute, describing in detail both its Section 301 and WTO phases. Weaving together the substantive arguments of the private companies, the positions of the two governments, and the role of public relations and politics, the author reveals the complex interplay of the various dimensions of trade policy battles. He combines selected excerpts from key documents with his perspectives as an inside observer of the dispute and illuminates its many different dimensions. He also places the issue in the broader context of Section 301, WTO dispute settlement, and the history of U.S.-Japan trade conflicts.

Anatomy of a Trade Dispute distills the essence of familiar documents, but also publishes for the first time various key documents from the Film Dispute, such as unadopted Congressional resolutions, letters between the governments, and questions posed by the WTO panel hearing the case. The publication also sheds new light on often overlooked aspects of the case, such as the consultations on restrictive business practices that never took place. Even those who followed ‘Kodak-Fuji’ at the time will find new documents and insights in this work.

This volume belongs on the shelves of all those interested in International, U.S.- Japan relations, formulation of trade policy, and the interaction of the private sectors and government in trade policy disputes.

ISBN 10: 1 874698 53 8

ISBN 13: 978 1 874698 53 1

•  Hardback • 700pp • 2001 • £85.00