Trade Policy Reforms and Development

Trade Policy Reforms and Development

Essays in Honour of Peter Lloyd, Volume II

Edited by Sisira Jayasuriya

Trade Policy Reforms and Development, comprises 11 essays offering new contributions on the following topics: globalisation and political economy of trade; trade, labour standards and economic crisis; the changing role of the WTO; competition policy and the WTO; choice of formulas for market access negotiations; regionalism and bilateralism in ASEAN; ANZUS free trade agreement; new criteria for optimum currency areas; trade policy and poverty in Asia; impact of agricultural trade reforms on poverty; and recent behaviour of US imports.

Chapter 4: The interaction between trade and competition policy: post-Doha communications to the WTO Working Group

Kerrin M. Vautier

Subjects: economics and finance, international economics

Extract

Kerrin M. Vautier 1. THE CONTEXT: PROMOTING EFFICIENT COMPETITION IN GLOBAL MARKETS In 1996, Peter Lloyd and I began extensive collaborative research on ‘competition policy’ and international trade at bilateral, regional, plurilateral and multilateral levels. This was against a background of growing international interest in policies to promote or defend competitive and efficient markets. Our research showed that issues were being confused by the common proposition that ‘competition policy’, and competition law in particular, warranted attention because this was a new trade-related area. We determined that there was a stand-alone case for policies to promote competition, the objective of which was neither to maximize a country’s trade nor to prevent nullification or impairment of benefits from negotiated trade concessions. We went on to advocate a coherent framework, based on pro-competition principles, for guiding policy direction in national and multi-national fora and for guiding the resolution of economic conflict within and between governments. In so doing, we acknowledged the prima facie appeal of the WTO as the institutional location for addressing emerging competition issues, pointing to its breadth of membership and its positioning as a multilateral organization that could, at least in principle, correct policy distortions affecting global markets. However, the focus of the WTO was on rules for world trade, government measures, and a market access/trade-driven approach to international competition issues. We very much doubted that solutions to the emerging competition issues (particularly anti-trust) would emanate from the WTO, especially in view of the following...

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