Political, economic and legal driving forces shaping the developmental contours of competition law: the experience of Taiwan

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The Taiwan Fair Trade Act (TFTA) was enacted in 1991 and took effect in 1992 after more than a decade of discussion and debate in Legislative Yuan, the parliament of Taiwan.1 The passage of the Act was partly attributable to political upheaval during the 1980s and 1990s, which triggered Taiwan’s transformation from an autocratic state to a model of democratization in Asia. More importantly, it was also motivated by the need to liberalize and improve the conditions for competition as the markets in Taiwan became increasingly globalized. These political and economic factors continued to influence subsequent revisions of the Act, with some revisions mandated by due process requirements and others inspired by the enforcement experience of, and advice from, international organizations. Following this analytical framework, this article aims to review and analyze the driving forces that shaped the developmental contours of the TFTA. The chapter is structured as follows. Section 2 introduces the legislative history of the TFTA and describes the political and economic factors that inspired its enactment and the debates regarding the necessity of this legislation for Taiwan. Section 3 provides an overview of how foreign legislation has influenced the enactment of the TFTA. Section 4 examines the factors motivating subsequent TFTA revisions. Section 5 summarizes and comments on some of the preliminary findings from this study, and section 6 concludes