Dr. Haraksingh discusses Community Competition Law at North American Forum in Vancouver

The International Law Section of the American Bar Association [ABA] threw the spotlight earlier this week at its North American Forum in Vancouver on doing business with the region and collaborating abroad. A special panel at the Forum was entitled Welcome to the Club: Caricom’s Competition Authority Joins Its Neighbors from Canada, Mexico and the US in Antitrust Enforcement. Dr. Kusha Haraksingh, Chairman of the Caricom Competition Commission [CCC] was invited by the ABA to be the lead speaker at this event and he was joined by Cariforum partner Michelle Cohen, Chair of Procompetencia, the Dominican Republic’s Competition authority. The meeting examined the challenges of cross-border Competition and Cartel reviews and explored how antitrust agencies could cooperate, especially in the context of emerging disciplines on data protection and security in the digital age.

Dr. Haraksingh explained to the American Bar the structure and legal framework of the CCC and its relationship to national commissions, including the Guyana Competition Commission and the recently inaugurated Trinidad & Tobago Fair Trading Commission; the organizational and other challenges to the implementation of competition law and policy in the small economies of the Caribbean, and the jurisprudential issues which are likely to arise in tailoring competition law to the Caribbean context. He explained that the CCC did not have the jurisdiction at the moment to deal with Mergers, such as in the telecommunications sector, but did have post-merger oversight to enforce the rules of competition to ensure that an enterprise which has achieved a dominant position in a particular market does not abuse its position by engaging in unfair business practices. The meeting was also exposed to undertakings on Competition law in trade agreements to which the Caricom member states are signatory. All of this was meant to elucidate the legal environment for doing business in the region.