Disciplines on State-Owned Enterprises under the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: Overview and Assessment
This paper analyses the disciplines of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) stipulated in Chapter 17 of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). The introduction of the extensive disciplines on SOEs was led by the concern that SOEs are likely to disturb fair international competition regime by conducting business activities not depending on economic rationality and anticompetitive activities. Major provision of this chapter includes definitions and the scope of application, commercial considerations and non-discriminatory treatment, non-commercial assistance, and transparency. While Chapter 17 can be appreciated as the first comprehensive and detailed discipline on SOEs including that of the WTO-plus, it still has problems and remaining issues concerning the disciplines. Nevertheless, the very fact that the TPP includes specific rules for SOEs is appreciated as a first step towards disciplining them in the future.