Wilson-Tariff Act

A few related provisions of the antitrust statutes deal primarily with the situation where an agreement intended to operate an unlawful restraint of trade is made by two or more persons engaged in the importing business. When there exists an agreement among competing importers to increase the market price of an imported article, the violation is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in prison and up to $5000. This is in marked contrast to most other collusive schemes, which are felonies whose punishments can entail years of imprisonment and fines in the millions.

The Wilson-Tariff Act is structured exactly like the Sherman Act, and contains provisions for jurisdiction, additional parties, and forfeiture. Also, like the Sherman Act, the Wilson-Tariff Act defines “person” to include corporations and associations. The main difference between the two is that the conduct prohibited by the Sherman Act is classified as a felony, while the narrower range of import-related collusive activity is classified as a misdemeanor.