Chapter 8: WTO accession and the formulation of China’s Anti-Monopoly Law
The establishment of the WTO and the significant reduction of trade tariffs for its member states represent a great step towards the liberation of trade on the international stage. However, the progress of global trade liberation is far from complete. This is because, in international trade, aside from existing tariffs and non-tariff trade barriers, there are also various forms of private restrictions on competition, especially price cartels, regional cartels, and large-scale mergers and acquisitions by multinational companies. Therefore, the WTO takes the relationship between trade and competition very seriously. As the 2001 Doha Round Ministerial-Level Meeting had decided, and as further agreed at the Fifth Session of the Ministerial-Level Meeting (held in Cancun, Mexico in September 2003), a negotiation process regarding trade and competition policies was initiated. The WTO’s decisions here demonstrate that countries around the world increasingly recognize the importance of competition policies and the close connection between competition policies and economic development, including the significant effects that competition policies have on promoting free trade and optimal resource allocation, and enhancing social welfare. Entering the WTO in 2001 was a milestone for China’s economic reforms. This significant event not only indicated that the Chinese economic system had been generally transformed into a market economy system, but also signified China’s increased integration with the rest of the world and the increasing globalization of the Chinese economy.
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