Washington International Law Journal


Matthew Cooper


On October 7, 1999, the United States and Japan signed an antitrust cooperation agreement. The agreement contains provisions for notification and consultation, coordination and cooperation, and positive comity. These provisions address Japanese sovereignty concerns arising from the unilateral application of U.S. antitrust laws to the conduct of Japanese firms that occurs outside the territorial borders of the United States. The agreement also addresses U.S. perceptions that Japanese markets are closed to American businesses because it offers tools, other than unilateral antitrust enforcement, to open Japanese markets to American businesses. However, the positive comity provision does not proscribe unilateral antitrust enforcement. This Comment analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of the positive comity provision and recommends several improvements.

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