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UCLA Pacific Basin Law Journal

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Petro Politics: Russian Conduct in the International Oil and Gas Market and the United States’ Need for a Strategic Administrative Response

  • Author(s): Curfman, Adam
  • et al.

How should the United States respond to Russia’s increasingly anti­competitive conduct in the oil and gas market, especially given the Russian military involvement in the crises in Ukraine and Syria and the Russian leadership’s increasingly vitriolic anti-Western sentiment? This Article contemplates the potential role of several federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, and the United States Trade Representative, in the resolution of this issue. It then considers these various agencies’ potential restrictions to action, including both jurisdictional limitations and comity concerns. I use the resulting framework to analyze Russia’s anticompetitive conduct in the oil and gas industry to comparable issues, like anticompetitive action in the airline industry by foreign carriers and disruptive conduct in the international agriculture sector. Largely due to foreign policy concerns, previous Russian action, and the legal nuances of unilaterally navigating such a global issue, I find that the United States’ best opportunity is to pursue action through invoking the procedures of the World Trade Organization’s Dispute Settlement Body.

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