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Publication Title

Washington University Global Studies Law Review

Abstract

It is the nature of business to cut across national boundaries. Private enterprises export, invest, transfer technology, and engage in all sorts of business activities across national boundaries in pursuit of profit. Such activities tend to increase the wealth of trading nations, which was the original objective of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Today the international trading system consists of the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and other international institutions that aim to maximize the wealth of nations.

At the same time, the nation-state system is still the reality throughout the world, and the legal or regulatory framework to control trade is that of national governments. National objectives and competition law and policy differ from country to country. This may create tension among trading nations, which, in turn, may create instability for enterprises that conduct business across national boundaries.

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