"National Champions" are large companies that should be promoting the interests of a state or political group.

When most of the world hears the two words “national champion” paired together, the first thing they tend to think of is sports. For instance, when a college football or basketball team wins the championship in the United States, they are referred to as the “National Champions.” However, in this case, the term “national champions” refers to something that is much, much different. When it comes to trade, trade policy, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “National Champions” refers to large companies. These companies should ideally be promoting the interests of a state or a political grouping like the European Union (EU) by assuming a particularly favorable and competitive position in international markets. In return for promoting the interests of a state or political grouping, these national champions receive special treatment. This special treatment comes in the form of governmental “help”, if you will. What is meant by this is that the governments of the state or the grouping sets policies that favor these companies by giving certain unfair advantages that work against other market players and competition. Since these companies get treated so well by the states, they can easily be labeled as “state-backed” companies, even if the state doesn’t “truly” back the company. When National Champions that dominate regional, or even national, markets are formed, it is very possible that “state-backed monopolies” can be formed. Because of how the national champions are treated, and the advantages given to them, it is possible that their competitors can be driven away, whether that be by getting pushed out of business or something else happening to them. It is also possible that two of these national champions sort of “split” business and they form an oligopoly, which is when two, or possibly more, corporations essentially “run the region.” The formation of an oligopoly is more likely to happen than a simple monopoly as, in liberal economies, true monopolies are very rare. These state-backed monopolies and market dominating companies were once “state-owned” enterprises such as postal service, the railway, and even telecommunication. However, as time goes on, things change. For instance, in the United States, there are only three different postal services that people use. These are FedEx, UPS, and the USPS, the last of which is state-owned. There have been others, but these three are strong and eventually push others out of the picture. Monopolies, and National Champions, might sound bad for the economy, but these are generally the product of government regulation and intervention. These National Champions, and monopolies, can also be digital, such as the Google search engine. There are many others out there, such as Bing, Yahoo!, and AOL, but Google is easily the king of search engines, and other technological things. Many people might look at these National Champions and question why they exist. They are formed and exist so that the government has some sort of control in how the markets work, research on the market, and development of the market. These national champions might be different than those that most are accustomed to, but they are much, much more important to the world and nations.