The Need for a Thoughtful Assessment of the Application of U.S. Antitrust Law to International Transactions

Joelson, Mark R. | January 1, 1980

It is commonly said that the United States antitrust laws are a cor- nerstone of our free enterprise system and our economic philosophy. It is another truism–one of more recent origin-that the most significant markets and arenas of competition today are the international ones. The daily business news bears out this conclusion. Yet one must also conclude that the relationship between these two indispensable features of our economic life-antitrust laws and international trade-is a troubled one which provides ample material for confusion, dispute and law review comment. Moreover, the debate over the application of United States antitrust law to international business transactions is in- herently an international, rather than domestic, discussion. Even if we Americans could agree that there were no points of controversy, we would have our foreign friends reminding us that indeed there are.