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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