Can U.S. Antitrust Laws Open International Markets?

26 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2007

See all articles by Spencer Weber Waller

Spencer Weber Waller

Loyola University Chicago School of Law


This article examines the issue of whether United States antitrust law can be an affirmative tool to help US firms sell products and services into markets that have been closed to foreign competition as a result of either governmental or private barriers to trade. The issue first surfaced in the 1980s in connection with bilateral trade disputes between the United States and Japan over market access. Subsequently the issue of antitrust and market access arose in the ICPAC hearings of the Justice Department and the continuing controversy over the proper role of the World Trade Organization in the area of competition law.

The vigorous and non-discriminatory enforcement of antitrust law can contribute to promoting an international marketplace characterized by an open competitive process. However, national antitrust is at best, a supporting player in constructing a liberal multilateral trading order and is incapable of promoting any single country's exports. This article suggests a small, but important role for United States antitrust law in promoting that competitive marketplace in conjunction with a developing wave of competition law around the globe.

Keywords: antitrust, World Trade Organization, trade and competition, ICPAC, Japan, Section 301, market access, collusuon, vertical restraints, trade sanctions

JEL Classification: F02, F12, F13, F15, K21, K33, L40

Suggested Citation

Waller, Spencer Weber, Can U.S. Antitrust Laws Open International Markets?. Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business, Vol. 20, No. 2, 2000, Available at SSRN:

Spencer Weber Waller (Contact Author)

Loyola University Chicago School of Law ( email )

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