DP876 Competition, Competition Policy and the GATT

Author(s): Bernard Hoekman, Petros C Mavroidis
Publication Date: January 1994
Keyword(s): Competition Policy, GATT, Multilateral Trade Negotiations
JEL(s): F13
Programme Areas: International Trade and Regional Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=876

This paper argues that further moves to liberalize trade and to implement existing GATT disciplines may have a greater impact on global competition than the pursuit of harmonized multilateral competition policy disciplines. It also suggests that current GATT rules and case law provide scope for both the application and non-application of existing domestic competition laws of contracting parties to be challenged in those instances where this leads to de facto discrimination between domestic and foreign products. Little use has been made of the GATT in this connection, suggesting that exploration of existing indirect avenues to raise competition-related disputes in GATT be pursued more actively. This would help to identify what specific government policies might be the subject of multilateral negotiations and explicit incorporation into the GATT framework.