ATB-2012-57-2-03-Liu, All About Fair Trade? Competition Law in Taiwan and East Asian Economic Development

By Lawrence S. Liu

The proliferation of antitrust laws around the world in the last three
decades demands a series of inquiries, including what exactly are the
nature and goals of these young competition statutes? Reviewing Taiwan’s
Fair Trade Law and the political economy informing its passage,
this article reveals an infatuation, common in Asia, with
“fairness.” This article first traces traditional Chinese political
thought about businesses and the offense of cornering public markets.
It then summarizes post–World War II economic development
and policies in Taiwan, including the relevancy of constitutional provisions
and emergency economic legislation. It shows that Taiwan’s
Fair Trade Law was enacted amid economic liberalization and political
and social reforms. The article then addresses the aim of promoting
consumer welfare and other nonefficiency goals, concluding that
Taiwan’s experience, including how it has struggled to outgrow the
fairness fever, has ramifications for other Asian economies following
the development state model, including China.

Taiwan Fair Trade Law, fairness, Taiwan open trade policy, Chinese political thought

Lawrence S. Liu is Executive Vice President, China Development Financial Holdings
Corporation and, concurrently, Adjunct Professor, Soochow University Law
School and National Taiwan University Management School, Taipei, Taiwan.
The usual disclaimers apply.