EDITORIAL : CHINE - CARTELS

China, the WTO, and State-sponsored export cartels: Where trade and competition ought to meet

In this foreword the authors consider the hypothetical case of China-sponsored hard core export restraints, which could in theory be carried out either by the State or by State-controlled firms. In examining their legitimacy both under WTO treaty obligations and under antitrust laws, the authors are struck by the opportunities for nations to play one system (trade) against the other (competition). Finally is suggested a modality for bringing the systems and their fact-finding into greater coherence.

Has China lit its candle at both ends? We consider the hypothetical case of China-sponsored hard core export restraints, which could in theory be carried out either by the state or by firms under the control of the state. We examine their legitimacy, both under WTO treaty obligations and under antitrust law. In so doing, we are struck by the opportunities for nations to play one system (trade) against the other (competition). At the end of this essay, we suggest a modality for bringing the systems and their fact-finding into greater coherence or at least awareness. We concentrate principally on one particular ongoing litigation, the US antitrust case against four Chinese firms for fixing prices of vitamin C into the United States (the firms admit the price-fixing and attribute it to

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Authors

  • New York University
  • Columbia University (New York)

Quotation

Eleanor M. Fox, Merit E. Janow, China, the WTO, and State-sponsored export cartels: Where trade and competition ought to meet, December 2012, Concurrences N° 4-2012, Art. N° 49206, www.concurrences.com

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