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REMARKS AS PREPARED
Thank you all for coming. It gives me great pleasure to announce the establishment of the International Competition Policy Advisory Committee, which will be co-chaired by Paula Stern-- formerly Chairwoman of the U.S. International Trade Commission -- and Jim Rill -- formerly Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, both of whom are here with me today. Also with us is Columbia University Professor Merit Janow, the Committee's Executive Director and an expert in international trade. And finally the person who is most responsible for formulating and enforcing competition policy on behalf of the Administration, Joel Klein, Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust.
This Committee has been created to recommend ways to enhance international cooperation among competition enforcement authorities and to remove unwarranted barriers to international trade.
The U.S. economy has become increasingly globalized and its continued health depends in large measure on ensuring free and fair access to international markets. The most significant anticompetitive restraints are agreements among international competitors to fix prices and allocate customers and markets. These cartels interfere with competition and cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars each year. The United States and its trading partners must find ways to work together to stamp out these restraints and protect consumers. This Committee will help the Administration build on these efforts.
We have assembled a distinguished group of lawyers, economists, scholars, and business executives to provide us with practical advice on how we can achieve our goals. Their collective wisdom and experience will be of exceptional value to Assistant Attorney General Klein and me as we implement the Administration's competition policy in the important realm of international trade and commerce. I wish to extend my deepest thanks to all of the members of the Committee who have agreed to make this commitment.
Let me now turn you over to the person who spearheaded the creation of this Advisory Committee: Joel Klein.