The Uruguay Round and Beyond
Edited by Ramesh Adhikari and Prema-chandra Athukorala
Chapter 7: Competition policy, the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council and the WTO
Chapter 7 11/2/02 1:16 pm Page 1 7. Competition policy, the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council and the WTO Kerrin M. Vautier The Competition policy (CP) has become an increasingly prominent topic on international agendas and is currently the subject of serious discussion at all levels: national, bilateral, regional and multilateral. Over the years it has given rise to national competition laws; bilateral co-operation agreements; formal competition provisions in regional trading arrangements; nonbinding agreements and recommendations in the GATT, the United Nations and the OECD; the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council’s (PECC’s) competition principles for guiding the development of a competition-driven policy framework for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies; and the derivative APEC principles to enhance competition and regulatory reform. At the multilateral level, a WTO Working Group was established to study issues relating to the interaction between trade and competition policy, including anticompetitive practices, and at the time of writing is in its fourth year of deliberations. All these initiatives reflect growing interest in the role of competition in market processes and economic policy, in what is meant by a competition culture and in the policy and institutional implications of promoting competition in globalizing markets. An important product of these initiatives has been the sharing of policy perspectives and experiences and learning where CP fits in international discussions on trade and investment liberalization. To date, CP discussions in international forums have focused principally on the perceived risk to international trade posed by restrictive and anticompetitive business practices and by...
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