DP876 | Competition, Competition Policy and the GATT

Publication Date


JEL Code(s)


Programme Area(s)



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 <MI>and<D> non-application of existing domestic competition laws of contracting parties to be challenged in those instances where this leads to <MI>de facto<D> 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.