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Governmental barriers to trade have gradually been reduced and eliminated; initially under the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and now under the World Trade Organisation (WTO), leading to freer, fairer and more competitive international trade.
However, private barriers to trade still exist and are not currently addressed by any international agreement. As a result, the realisation of the goals of free and fair trade aims of the WTO have not completely come to fruition.
This work analyses the question of whether an international competition agreement to address private barriers should be negotiated, from a competition perspective and a trade perspective. The competition perspective considers how anticompetitive activities affecting the international community have been addressed to date, including extraterritorial application of domestic competition laws and co-operation between countries. However, the main focus is on the so-called ‘trade solution’: a competition agreement within the WTO.
The book examines and refutes concerns on a competition agreement before showing that the WTO agreements can be interpreted in a procompetitive manner, incorporating the views of consumers as well as producers. It demonstrates that this is easier with the agreements that have been amended and elaborated upon over the years, for example the Anti-Dumping Agreement, the Subsidies and Countervailing Measures Agreement and the Agreement on Safeguards, than it is with the GATT.