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Competition policy and the global trading system : a developing country perspective, Volume 1
 
Author:Hoekman, Bernard; Collection Title:Policy, Research working paper ; no. WPS 1735
Date Stored:2001/04/21Document Date:1997/03/31
Document Type:Policy Research Working PaperSubTopics:Environmental Economics & Policies; Payment Systems & Infrastructure; Economic Theory & Research; Markets and Market Access; Free Trade; Labor Policies; Trade and Regional Integration; ICT Policy and Strategies
Language:EnglishMajor Sector:(Historic)Economic Policy
Report Number:WPS1735Sub Sectors:Trade
Volume No:1  

Summary: Starting in the late 1980s, policy makers and academics began increasingly to call for the development of multilateral discipline on anticompetitive practices. Some believe that falling trade barriers must be complemented by antitrust measures to ensure that foreign competition materializes; some believe that without multilateral discipline it would be impossible to limit the use of anti-dumping and related policies; and some believe that the exercise of market power by global multinationals requires a global code on competition. Efforts to establish multilateral disciplines on competition have resulted only in various codes of conduct, none of them legally enforceable. But prospects for negotiating an agreement improved with the recent decision at the first ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to establish a working group on the topic. The author evaluates various options from the perspective of developing countries: agreeing to minimum standards for national antitrust laws; expanding the reach of the WTO provision on nullification and impairment to policies that restrict competition; granting the WTO a mandate to advocate competition; and doing nothing. He concludes that developing counties would benefit from and agreement that: bans price-fixing and market sharing; includes a ban on export cartels; initiates a process of replacing anti-dumping actions with enforcement of domestic competition laws; and strengthens the WTO s mandate to advocate co nt may be quite difficult, however, as some of these elements will be opposed by various special-interest groups in industrial countries.

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