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U.S. Chamber Calls for China to Implement Anti-Monopoly Law to Advance Market Reforms

Monday, July 12, 2010 - 8:00pm

House Testimony Calls for Promotion of Competition, Not the Protection of State-Owned Competitors

WASHINGTON D.C.—In testimony today on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce before the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition and the Courts, Shanker Singham of Squire Sanders & Dempsey, L.L.P – an expert in developing and emerging antitrust jurisdictions – called on China to ensure that its Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) is implemented in a non-discriminatory and transparent manner that promotes competition and enhances consumer welfare.

“With passage of its law, China appropriately recognized the value of having competitive markets inside its borders and the need to grow its economy in ways that benefit its consumers,” said Sean Heather, executive director of the Chamber’s Global Regulatory Cooperation Project. “The Chinese government, however, faces challenges associated with placing an antitrust agency in an environment where industrial policy can be the governing principle.”

The Chamber is concerned that China’s antitrust laws will be harnessed, in part, to protect its state-owned and state-influenced companies. China is accelerating its efforts to tilt the competitive playing field towards ‘favored’ firms through policies related to investment, intellectual property, government procurement, standards setting, tax, and information security. In a series of submissions, the Chamber has urged China to refrain from adopting such an approach with its antitrust laws, in particular citing those aspects of China’s AML that appear to be designed to erode foreign intellectual property rights and to encourage nonmarket-based technology transfer.

“If the AML is implemented in a manner that eliminates internal barriers to trade and investment and promotes the welfare of consumers, China’s Anti-Monopoly Law can be a boon for Chinese economic growth and help in its drive to become a more innovative economy,” said Jeremie Waterman, the Chamber’s senior director for China Policy. “To realize this goal, however, China’s new antitrust enforcement authority must aggressively advocate for competition in the name of Chinese consumers and be autonomous of the voices of industrial policy in the government.”

The Global Regulatory Cooperation Project seeks to align trade, regulatory, and competition policy in support of open and competitive markets.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

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