Washington International Law Journal


In August 2007, China enacted an Anti-Monopoly Law, becoming one of roughly ninety nations to establish a comprehensive regulatory regime governing competition. Since the advent of China’s economic reform program beginning three decades ago, China has been moving to integrate its economy within the global trading system. This article provides an overview of China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (“AML”) emphasizing key areas of significant apparent divergence from U.S. antitrust policy. The article addresses the evolution of anti-monopoly policy in China and the United States, observing that, where differences exist, China’s AML frequently reflects principles similar to those once embedded in U.S. antitrust policy, but which have been abandoned or modified by U.S. policymakers and courts in a sustained process of policymaking through trial and error. The article also examines specific areas of divergence between the AML and U.S. antitrust policy, describing how past U.S. policies, which find parallels in the AML, were modified or abandoned over time. Finally, the article concludes that in enacting the AML, Chinese policymakers aim to promote economic growth and innovation. It also expresses the hope that the U.S. experience, which was driven by the need to increase its own economic dynamism, may serve as an abiding point of reference to China’s policymakers.

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