Promoting Competition in Global Markets

Promoting Competition in Global Markets

A Multi-National Approach

P. J. Lloyd and Kerrin M. Vautier

This book sheds new light on a major issue on the international trade policy agenda – the promotion and defence of competition in globalizing markets. The authors discuss multi-national approaches to competition policy in the WTO, European Union, the Americas, OECD, UNCTAD and CER. They investigate the policy responses to anti-competitive, cross-border business transactions and argue that a growing reliance on competition law is not in itself sufficient to promote competition in globalizing markets.

Chapter 10: The World Trade Organization

P. J. Lloyd and Kerrin M. Vautier

Subjects: economics and finance, international economics


Page 153 10—  The World Trade Organization Historically, there has been no multilateral competition authority or organization and no substantial multilateral rules explicitly relating to competition. Under the GATT,  the rules of the international trade system ignore private conduct which affects competition, with the exceptions of dumping and subsidized trade, trading by state­ owned enterprises and enterprises with exclusive or special rights. Apart from these exceptions, private actions which raise questions of anti­competitive cross­border  conduct are not subject to international trade law. Nevertheless, the World Trade Organization (WTO) is increasingly important for several reasons. Many government measures affect competition in markets and the  role of the WTO in relation to competition aspects of international trade measures needs to be worked out. There is some pressure on the WTO to become involved  in the resolution of private actions through its dispute settlement procedures. Some economists and lawyers have recommended that the WTO be extended to  incorporate a multilateral competition authority which could address all aspects of cross­border business conduct. The most notable of these are the working group of  academics and practitioners who, during the negotiations of the Uruguay Round, proposed an International Antitrust Draft Code (International Antitrust Draft Code  Working Group, 1993) and the Group of Experts commissioned by the European Commission in the lead­up to the Singapore Ministerial Conference of the WTO  (European Commission DG IV, 1996). After looking generally at the multilateral option and surveying briefly the competition provisions in the WTO, we examine...

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