FTC to hold forum on use of conduct codes in cross-border commerce

The Federal Trade Commission recently announced the agenda for its forum later this month on the use of enforceable codes of conduct to protect American consumers in cross-border commerce.

The forum, which will be presented in conjunction with the 20102 Biennial Meeting of the American Society of International Law’s Economic Law Interest Group, will examine how various government entities, businesses and organizations can develop and implement conduct codes to govern certain areas of the industry that do not fall under traditional government oversight.

Edith Ramirez, an FTC commissioner, will open the forum with introductory remarks, followed by a panel discussion on the increasing use of cross-border conduct codes and a speech by William E. Kovacic, a former FTC chairman, regarding the antitrust implications of such rules.

The panel will also discuss two code-based systems, including one aimed at improving the privacy protections of consumers in the Asia-Pacific region. Additionally, the subsequent panel will address how American laws on toy and food safety have incorporated elements of code-based systems, and the final panel will focus on the best practices used to compare code-based systems.

The FTC forum will be open to the public at the FTC’s satellite conference center in Washington, D.C., and pre-registration is not required.

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