chapter  16
29 Pages

THE HARMONIZATION OF COMPETITION AND TRADE LAW

Trade law concerns nations’ restraints of trade. Competition law, or antitrust, concerns private restraints of trade. With the successful completion of the Uruguay Round and the increasing internationalization of markets, attention has been turned to the international dimension of antitrust and the fit of competition policy with the world trading system. Proposals have been made for an international antitrust system, for harmonizing the antitrust laws of trading nations, and for harmonizing antitrust and trade law in general or at key intersections such as market access. This chapter first examines the motivations for harmonization and world policy. It then methodically examines whether there is a case to be made for convergence in each key substantive area of antitrust law, including each point of intersection of trade and competition. Using a vision of community, the chapter concludes that certain modest linkages should be forged at world level; that national law is not sufficient to the task; and that particular attention should be devoted to eliminating parochial restraints of nations that impose anti-competitive costs on neighbours and, as a consequence, on the world trading system and on the citizen/consumers of the world.