Dear Competition and Consumer Protection Leaders,
If Section performance were an Olympic sport, you would be receiving medals for the year we just had in the Section of Antitrust Law. Once again, you made SAL the pride of ABA and an example for bar associations around the world. Your energy, your enthusiasm and your intellect advanced the mission that defines our Section: Promoting Competition and Protecting Consumers. I am proud to be part of this great team, grateful to Roxann for leading us so well, and honored by your invitation to take the helm.
The year ahead will put our Section and its mission to a critical test. Governments around the world are in transition, and the policies of nations will hinge on the same questions we face every day. In the international arena, countries are evaluating competition and consumer policies, and considering whether restrictions on commerce and trade would create more benefits than costs. Is that not the essence of antitrust? In markets large and small, we evaluate contracts, combinations, regulations and restrictions by assessing whether competition works better with or without them. At stake in every decision is the welfare of consumers. Case by case, when we do our jobs well, we enhance the lives of consumers. And because the methods we use can enlighten public policy, the value of our work extends far beyond the cases we resolve.
Winning insights emerge from the competition of ideas. Nowhere is there a more vibrant marketplace of ideas about competition, consumer protection and economics than right here in SAL. No other organization in our field can count the books, journals, articles, programs and networks we have created over the years, all with the purpose of advancing the state of our science and the wisdom of our policy. Your accomplishments in competition and consumer protection in seasons past could fill a hall of fame.
Now a new season is upon us. This year we will add to our innovative programs with the first Global Seminar held in South Korea, a new program in Europe on Global Private Litigation, and a symposium on Competition and Consumer Protection in Health Care. We will welcome sequels of some favorite franchises – Masters, Fall Forum, Consumer Protection, and Antitrust in the Americas. Capping them all will be the Spring Meeting, finally in a hotel that can comfortably accommodate our growing numbers.
From our publishing houses, we will offer a new edition of Antitrust Law Developments, several major books on special subjects, dozens of committee newsletters, and many notable articles in the Antitrust Law Journal, Antitrust Magazine and The Source. We want to maintain our distinction as the source of the most cited authorities in judicial decisions on competition law. And with the help of our new Content Committee, we will continue the work of making all we offer easier and more enjoyable to access.
We will soon see a new government in Washington, DC, and we are watching similar dramas unfold in other capitals around the world. Task forces of our best and brightest will track these developments over the course of the year. Our Presidential Transition Task force will prepare a report with recommendations for competition and consumer protection enforcement in the US. Our Procedural Transparency Task Force will assess the status of procedural transparency in various jurisdictions. And of course our International Task Forces will continue to scan the globe for developments worth commentary.
Leaders, let the competition begin! As we take the field, let’s not forget how we got here – with the patient training, guidance and support of our expert staff in Chicago. Follow their advice. They know how to bring home a new collection of medals, and how to have fun all season long.
Finally, thank you again for giving me the chair, and the platform to cheer you on. You will make this year one for the record books!
Chair, Section of Antitrust Law 2016-2017
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