Trade and Competition Policies

Exploring the Ways Forward

To further benefit from trade liberalisation, developed and developing countries must get their policies right, in trade and other spheres, such as the web of domestic regulations that affect commerce within and between countries. In the run-up to the November 1999 WTO Ministerial in Seattle, Washington, and a possible new round of multilateral trade negotiations, a Conference on trade and competition was held on 29-30 June 1999 at the OECD to explore the various options towards better coherence between trade and competition policies. This Conference provided OECD countries and 30 non-member countries, academics and representatives of business, trade unions and advocacy groups a unique opportunity to discuss ways to strengthen trade and competition policies in the interests of more open global markets. They examined the effects of trade measures on competition. They also debated whether private anticompetitive practices, and certain domestic regulations, point to the need for multilateral trade and competition rules. This publication summarises those discussions and includes keynote addresses by Sir Leon Brittan and U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Joel Klein, as well as an issues paper drafted by the OECD Secretariat to serve as a background note for the Conference.