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Forging cartels : a transatlantic perspective on business collusion and the interwar copper industry (1918-1940)

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Abstract
This article examines the formation and activities of international copper cartels during the interwar period by focusing on the Union Miniere du Haut Katanga (UHMK), one of the principal new entrants at that time. Rather than seeing interwar copper cartels as an expression of the rise of the American copper industry, cartels gradually came to reflect the expansion of production world-wide by absorbing new entry. New entrants were crucial in setting up the Copper Exporters Inc (CEI) and International Copper Cartel (ICC) cartels. In addition, the formation and organisation of copper cartels are examined from the point of view of state policies. It is argued that governments, both in the US as well as in Europe, welcomed or tolerated cartels so long as they could provide security and social stability for domestic employment by regulating competition. Such arguments even allowed firms to push the boundaries of what was legally accepted, as the export cartel CEI gradually transformed into a production quota cartel. Copper cartels thereby functioned as alternatives to protectionism until 1932. Thereafter, firms turned to more resourceful solutions to circumvent American antitrust legislation and protectionism, resulting in the ICC, which depended upon informal and indirect American business participation.
Keywords
CORPORATION, POWER, WAR, Cartels, antitrust, Union Miniere, copperbelt, state-business relations

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MLA
Declercq, Robrecht. “Forging Cartels : A Transatlantic Perspective on Business Collusion and the Interwar Copper Industry (1918-1940).” SCANDINAVIAN ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW, vol. 68, no. 3, 2019, pp. 204–21, doi:10.1080/03585522.2019.1663761.
APA
Declercq, R. (2019). Forging cartels : a transatlantic perspective on business collusion and the interwar copper industry (1918-1940). SCANDINAVIAN ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW, 68(3), 204–221. https://doi.org/10.1080/03585522.2019.1663761
Chicago author-date
Declercq, Robrecht. 2019. “Forging Cartels : A Transatlantic Perspective on Business Collusion and the Interwar Copper Industry (1918-1940).” SCANDINAVIAN ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW 68 (3): 204–21. https://doi.org/10.1080/03585522.2019.1663761.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Declercq, Robrecht. 2019. “Forging Cartels : A Transatlantic Perspective on Business Collusion and the Interwar Copper Industry (1918-1940).” SCANDINAVIAN ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW 68 (3): 204–221. doi:10.1080/03585522.2019.1663761.
Vancouver
1.
Declercq R. Forging cartels : a transatlantic perspective on business collusion and the interwar copper industry (1918-1940). SCANDINAVIAN ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW. 2019;68(3):204–21.
IEEE
[1]
R. Declercq, “Forging cartels : a transatlantic perspective on business collusion and the interwar copper industry (1918-1940),” SCANDINAVIAN ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW, vol. 68, no. 3, pp. 204–221, 2019.
@article{8643111,
  abstract     = {This article examines the formation and activities of international copper cartels during the interwar period by focusing on the Union Miniere du Haut Katanga (UHMK), one of the principal new entrants at that time. Rather than seeing interwar copper cartels as an expression of the rise of the American copper industry, cartels gradually came to reflect the expansion of production world-wide by absorbing new entry. New entrants were crucial in setting up the Copper Exporters Inc (CEI) and International Copper Cartel (ICC) cartels. In addition, the formation and organisation of copper cartels are examined from the point of view of state policies. It is argued that governments, both in the US as well as in Europe, welcomed or tolerated cartels so long as they could provide security and social stability for domestic employment by regulating competition. Such arguments even allowed firms to push the boundaries of what was legally accepted, as the export cartel CEI gradually transformed into a production quota cartel. Copper cartels thereby functioned as alternatives to protectionism until 1932. Thereafter, firms turned to more resourceful solutions to circumvent American antitrust legislation and protectionism, resulting in the ICC, which depended upon informal and indirect American business participation.},
  author       = {Declercq, Robrecht},
  issn         = {0358-5522},
  journal      = {SCANDINAVIAN ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW},
  keywords     = {CORPORATION,POWER,WAR,Cartels,antitrust,Union Miniere,copperbelt,state-business relations},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {204--221},
  title        = {Forging cartels : a transatlantic perspective on business collusion and the interwar copper industry (1918-1940)},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03585522.2019.1663761},
  volume       = {68},
  year         = {2019},
}

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