Bad Problem Getting Worse: Regional Trade Agreements and the Future of the Multilateral Framework on Competition Policy and Law
25 Pages Posted: 10 May 2011
Date Written: May 9, 2011
At present, Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) have proliferated extraordinarily in the world trade landscape. Some trade diplomats are coming to recognize the greater significance of regional competition policy and law and are arguing that RTAs are likely to prevent to create anti-competitive cross border merger and acquisition business practices by firms. They advocate that competition-related provisions should be included in the framework of RTAs. Consequently, the adoption of these provisions in RTAs is expanding and becoming a trend in the regional trade landscape.
On the contrary, trade scholars have long debated how regionalism may be able to contribute to the multilateral trading system. Due to the priority of market opening objectives in the trade liberalization process, they believe that lowering tariff barriers and removing a variety of non-tariff barriers are the principal issues to be addressed and that the implications of competition policy and law in enhancing trade welfare effects is not directly relevant to the objective pursued.
Based on the relationship between regionalism and multilateralism in the contemporary trade discourse, this article discusses the prospects for the multilateral framework on competition policy and law and asks whether there is a link between these and at least the beginnings of a regulatory process at global level.
Keywords: Regional Trade Agreement, International Competition Law and Policy
JEL Classification: F02, F13, F15, F42, K21, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation