Dumping in e-commerce in *services*?
Thread poster: Jacek Krankowski (X)

Jacek Krankowski (X)  Identity Verified
English to Polish
+ ...
Apr 10, 2002

A Central European translation agency has won local government contracts for translation by offering approx. $0.0025/wd (that\'s 1/4 of a cent/wd). That is, roughly, the price of a local daily newspaper there

for one page of translation and something like one-tenth of the local minimum going rate.

Here is a purely hypothetical question: Were they to offer, through the Internet, translations, say, in the U.S. for 8 times that much, i.e. 2 cents/wd, wouldn\'t the federal antidumping law apply which provides that the Secretary of Treasury is required to notify U.S. International Trade

Commission (USITC) whenever he determines that foreign merchandise (I do not know about services) is being

or is likely to be sold in U.S. or elsewhere at less than its fair value and

the USITC shall determine the injury to U.S. industry? If such imports are

determined to be injurious to domestic sales of like products, such imports

may be oredered stopped. (19 U.S.C.A. § 1673)

Is there such a thing as dumping in e-commerce with respect to translation services?

And, isn\'t there something like \"accessory to Internet dumping practices?\"

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-10 16:36 ]


Ursula Peter-Czichi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:00
German to English
+ ...
There are too many agencies and too many translators, Apr 10, 2002

and there is only one way out:

Having been treated with total disregard by a translation agency this very day, I am going to develop other services in addition to translation.

Translators are increasingly negotiating from a position of weakness. That naturally does not work for translators.

Complaining (or suing) is not the answer. I cannot believe that people with advanced degrees will keep on working for peanuts. This morning, I declined an offer that came across as an insult. Agencies do not respect translators. I know, I did not deserve their treatment.

However, it helps when competent people refuse to work for certain agencies and/or find more effective ways to make use of their talents.

I know I will increase my efforts towards REAL independence, starting today. Anger, carefully directed, is a very effective tool.

Good luck to you all, Ursula

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-10 20:07 ]

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-10 22:05 ]


Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:00
Spanish to English
+ ...
Have you read the Satyricon? Apr 11, 2002

700,000 sestertii to buy a tutor for your son. Weren\'t those the days?


Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:00
English to Swedish
+ ...
Complaining does not help! Apr 11, 2002

Complaining does not help!

The answer is to be found in QUALITY AND COOPERATION.

A translator should ONLY undertake work in Language Combinations AND Subject Areas that he MASTERS, but many of us do not follow that rule strictly.

Why do we not?

The most frequent answer is: I have to stay alive/eat/pay rent!

May I take the liberty to suggest a constructive solution?

Form a ”Cyberspace Translators’ Studio” in which the members claim cells in the three dimensional space ”Source-Target-Speciality”; members to accept work ONLY in their claimed cell(s) AND to REFER potential customers PROMPTLY to fellow translator members in cells matching customer needs.

Final customers would quickly learn to go directly to the Cyberspace Translators’ Studio and not to an agency. They would pay what they are used to pay and get a SUPERIOR QUALITY. The translator members would get the kind of work they master and EARN MORE. The only loser would be the agencies.

Anybody interested in the concept is encouraged to send me an email: sven.petersson2@telia.com

Some 100 positive emails needed to start.

Let’s see how many want to implement a solution and how many just want to complain.



Jacek Krankowski (X)  Identity Verified
English to Polish
+ ...
Thank you, Sven, for sharing details with us Apr 11, 2002

The situation described by me seems, however, to evolve regardless of your sort of quality initiatives. That particular government selected the 1/4 ct/wd offer in the real world and not in the cyberspace, clearly preferring the criterion of low cost to that of quality and certainly ignoring any native speaker requirements. Besides, there are not too many native speakers of English who would also be familiar with the Polish telecommunications terminology (maybe I am wrong).

The danger for me is that the agency in question, which, obviously, had to heavily subsidize the contracts won, may try exporting that sort of mechanism by subsidizing with other income (for a limited period of time, of course) a 2ct/wd campaign, say, in the U.S., using, for instance, ProZ. This would be really bad news for those who unconditionally oppose any price control. (The US government, by the way, is not among them.) I am trying to investigate this dumping issue because the prospect of a 2ct/wd campaign in Western markets is not totally made up.


Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:00
Member (2004)
English to Italian
globalization and Internet Apr 11, 2002

with the globalization and the widespread use of Internet, agencies are only too aware of the possibility of using translators in other \"less expensive\" countries, getting the same quality. It\'s not matter of \"you charge so little, your product must be rubbish\"... on the contrary. It\'s the market and the economic situation of the country in which the translator lives and operates which count. If in a given country a translator can charge half of - let\'s say - what American translators charge because the rates in his/her country and the economic situation allow it, then there is nothing we can do about it. In certain countries the cost of living is far lower and the rates reflect that. These translators live well and are professionals, whose products are very good. I think generalizing is dangerous. Unfortunately, agencies don\'t see that. They go to that country and pay less. Then they come to you and expect the same rates from you. You say no. At the end you lose out. But it\'s difficult to blame agencies for that. It\'s the global economy and the amount of information available these days which are to blame and, obviously, the improved communication. I\'m very pessimistic about the future of translators in more affluent countries: the competition from less affluent nations will drive the rates down. It\'s inevitable.



Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:00
English to Swedish
+ ...
Interim report. Apr 11, 2002

Interim report.

11 emails received:

Whingers: 11

Doers: nil



[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-11 11:49 ]


Jacek Krankowski (X)  Identity Verified
English to Polish
+ ...
Giovanni is right! Apr 11, 2002

\"...the competition from less affluent nations will drive the rates down. It\'s inevitable.\"

However, here is some related reading:

The developing GATT services agreement could provide some protection against dumping of services, although the United States professes to prefer modification of domestic antidumping law as the best way to expand coverage to include services.

The European Community\'s GATT services proposal addresses the issue of dumping of services. Hindley, Services, in COMPLETING THE URUGUAY ROUND: A RESULTS-ORIENTED APPROACH TO THE GATT TRADE NEGOTIATIONS 130, 136 n.3. (J. Schott ed. 1990). One sector of services in which dumping has already been examined is that of shipping. Zerby, Ellsworth & Schmitt, supra note 226, at 51-56. More recently, there have been allegations of dumping by foreign providers on the U.S. market. U.S. Supports Cross Retaliation Concept in GATT Services Talks, USTR Official Says, 7 Int\'l Trade Rep. (BNA) 1111, 1111 (July 18, 1990) [hereinafter U.S. Supports Cross Retaliation].


The new measure enacted by [Canadian] Bill C-55 ...deals directly with the advertising services market, and therefore falls under GATS, the WTO agreement on trade in services. Under GATS, the U.S. has no rights of access to Canada\'s advertising services market, and Canada has no obligation to provide such access.

Do U.S. publishers have an unfair and insurmountable advantage? Yes.

Would they exploit that advantage if they were allowed to? Yes.

Would we lose market share in the advertising services market to split run editions? Yes.

Would that loss of advertising revenue force us out of business? Absolutely.


[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-12 14:24 ]


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