Trade and Competition Policy in the Developing World: Is There a Role for the WTO?
44 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2008
Date Written: August 13, 2008
This paper considers the possibilities that the member states of the WTO would adopt some kind of antitrust provision. Initially, the paper reviews the historical relation of competition policy to trade policy, from the Havana Conference to the present. It then reviews the conflicts between the developing and developed countries in the GATT. The paper explores the differences between the mind-set of legislators adopting a competition law and trade negotiators bargaining for a multilateral reduction in tariffs. It also identifies the influence of private interests in both situations. The paper considers competing roles played by competition laws and industrial policy, especially (but not exclusively) in developing countries. It identifies the differing benefits that developed and developing countries once perceived in a competition-law component to the WTO, and it discusses how the realization of both sets of goals is proving increasingly difficult. Finally, the paper shows that the dominant private interests of developed and developing countries diverge. As a result a global competition-law regime, whether under the WTO or not has become increasingly unlikely.
Keywords: WTO, antitrust
JEL Classification: F02, F10, F13, F19, K21, L40, L49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation