Essays in Honour of Peter Lloyd, Volume II
Edited by Sisira Jayasuriya
Chapter 4: The interaction between trade and competition policy: post-Doha communications to the WTO Working Group
4. The interaction between trade and competition policy: post-Doha communications to the WTO Working Group 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...
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