An Anti-Monopoly Law for China – Scaling the Walls of Protectionist Government Restraints

Eleanor M. Fox, New York University, School of Law


China’s legislators are debating the enactment of an anti-monopoly law. The pending draft legislation would prohibit abuse of administrative monopoly. Administrative abuses are provincial and local measures that discriminate against and burden goods and services from other provinces and localities. State-owned monopolies would apparently be covered by the law except in regulated industries. Most nations deal with abusive government restraints and abusive private restraints by different instruments of law. This essay demonstrates, however, the integral nature of public and private protectionist restraints. It provides examples of integrated analysis in the United States, the European Union, and the World Trade Organization. It argues that a Chinese effort to address administrative economic abuses in its competition law would be progressive and helpful to the Chinese economy, especially in the absence of a Chinese “Commerce Clause.” Also, it argues for fuller coverage of state-owned monopolies. SOEs and provincial and local protectionist restraints are among China’s most significant obstacles to realizing the benefits of markets.