Trade policy is essential to opening markets to greater competition, whereas competition policy and antitrust enforcement are essential to the competitive operation of markets. Growth in new enforcement agencies has resulted in complications in clearing merger transactions and has ushered in divergent views on how best to protect competition in the marketplace, including the use of antitrust as a tool of industrial policy. The GRC has long advocated the following principles:
- Competition and trade policy should be complementary. The benefits of international trade will be lost if markets do not operate in pro-competitive ways.
- Governments should not use competition policy as an industrial policy tool to achieve protectionist goals that circumvent commitments to trade and open markets.
- Antitrust enforcement should be transparent, fair, predictable, reasonably stable over time, and consistent across jurisdictions.
- All antitrust investigations and enforcement decisions should be based on sound economic analysis.
- Competition policy should protect legitimate property rights, including intangible property.
- Antitrust remedies should enhance consumer welfare and make sense in an interconnected world.