Leading Issues in Competition, Regulation and Development
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Leading Issues in Competition, Regulation and Development

Edited by Paul Cook, Colin Kirkpatrick, Martin Minogue and David Parker

The book draws together contributions from leading experts across a range of disciplines including economics, law, politics and governance, public management and business management. The authors begin with an extensive overview of the issues of regulation and competition in developing countries, and carefully illustrate the important themes and concepts involved. Using a variety of country and sector case studies, they move on to focus on the problems of applicability and adaptation that are experienced in the process of transferring best practice policy models from developed to developing countries. The book presents a clear agenda for further empirical research and is notable for its rigorous exploration of the links between theory and practice.
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Chapter 5: Trade and competition policy at the WTO: issues for developing countries

Peter Holmes


Peter Holmes1 IS THERE A NEED FOR GLOBAL RULES? Concerns about competition and trade have a long pedigree, back to Adam Smith who devoted a large fraction of the Wealth of Nations to the evil consequences of international trading monopolies such as the East India Company, which he said impoverished both Indian sellers and British consumers. The 1948 Havana Charter of the abortive International Trade Organization (ITO) included a requirement on members to police international restrictive business practices: Each Member shall take appropriate measures and shall co-operate with the Organization to prevent, on the part of private or public commercial enterprises, business practices affecting international trade which restrain competition, limit access to markets, or foster monopolistic control, whenever such practices have harmful effects on the expansion of production or trade and interfere with the achievement of any of the other objectives set forth in Article 1. (UNCTAD, 1948, Article 46, para. 1) There was provision for the ITO secretariat to investigate cases and make recommendations to members. Of course the Havana Charter was not adopted as a whole, only the chapter on trade in goods which became the GATT. Discussions continued in other fora about the trade and competition interface, at the GATT, the OECD and UNCTAD. This work perhaps slightly obscured the fact that the heart of GATT did in fact touch on competition law. Article III of GATT requires non-discrimination (national treatment) in all domestic laws, regulations and taxes that may affect trade. This sweeping obligation was largely...

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