Academic journal article Law and Policy in International Business

Panel III B: Operation of the WTO Agreements in the Context of Varying Types of National Regulatory Systems: Presentation Summary and Comments

Academic journal article Law and Policy in International Business

Panel III B: Operation of the WTO Agreements in the Context of Varying Types of National Regulatory Systems: Presentation Summary and Comments

Article excerpt

Question and Answer Summary: The panel was first asked whether the WTO panel correctly decided the Japan--Film case. Southwick replied that the panel erred, not because it made many errors of law, but because it made many errors on the facts, especially concerning the actions of the Japanese government in creating a restrictive structure. He added that there was no paper trail available to differentiate between government action and private sector action. Southwick noted, however, important successes in the WTO with Japan. He cited the USTR threat to bring a case involving NTT telecom rates that would result in the lowering of rates if it were won. Janow said that she agreed with the WTO's line of reasoning in the U.S.--DRAMS case that informal government action is also the government's responsibility. She noted that the use of consultations has been beneficial in the past but that the United States has strayed from their use with Japan. She concluded that the United States needs to use mechanisms other than dispute settlement.

Southwick said that he believes the Japanese law on vertical restraint and distribution is a good law, and that it is an accurate statement to say that it goes beyond U.S. law. Southwick noted, however, that the problem is enforcement and the abysmal record and bureaucratic weakness of the Japanese FTC. He said that the Japanese FTC is unwilling to take action unless a complete evidentiary record is presented, but that such a record is difficult to build if discovery powers are extremely limited. …

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