A Study on the Position of R.O.C. on Competition Policy Under the WTO
1. Background of the Study: Due to the facts that it is very controversial with regard to whether to start the negotiation on the interaction between competition policy and trade policy under the WTO, and that it is extremely important for this country to actively participate the WTO decision-making process, the Fair Trade Commission (the FTC) decided to conduct a study on the possible trend of the negotiations on competition policy under the WTO and the appropriate position that this country should take to deal with this issue.
2. Progress of the study: The team members analyze WTO documents and try to formulate an appropriate policy position for the government based on the development status of this economy and the experiences of enforcing the Fair Trade Law in this jurisdiction. During the period of study, there was a Ministerial Declaration made at the WTO Fourth Session of Ministerial Meeting, in which three paragraphs were dealing with competition matters. This study thus includes such document for its policy analysis.
3. Main findings, conclusions and suggestions:
(1) The study suggests that the government should take the position of promoting an overall and comprehensive negotiation on competition policy under the WTO. The ultimate goal should be to conclude a framework agreement dealing with competition matters.
(2) WTO agreement on competition should be a binding one. It can also be made into a two-tier arrangement: the multilateral agreement can be arranged to deal with those core principles (transparency, non-discrimination, technical assistance, cooperation) and the plurilateral one to deal with substance provisions (such as hard core cartels).
(3) Substance matters: It should be supported to include transparency principle. However, there are some transparency issues with respect to our own system which needs to be reviewed. We do not have any reason to avoid including non-discrimination principles in the negotiations; but we do need to conduct some reviews on our own import/export cartel provisions. It should also be the best interest of this country to have the hard-core cartel provisions incorporated in the plurilateral competition agreement.
(4) Procedural matters: The study finds that positive and negative comities as well as active cooperation should be of the interest of this country.
(5) Antidumping: This study is of the opinion that it is very important to modify the antidumping regime under the WTO so as to make AD measures less anticompetitive.
(6) Developing country issues: The study suggests the government to strongly support giving developing countries higher flexibility and to provide assistance to such countries under the framework of competition agreement.