Industrial Subsidies and Friction in World Trade: Trade Policy or Trade Politics?

By Rambod Behboodi | Go to book overview

5

UNILATERAL REGULATION OF SUBSIDIES

"I'll be judge, I'll be jury", said cunning old Fury;

"I'll try the whole cause, and condemn you to death".1


INTRODUCTION

The international institutions discussed so far have at least one thing in common: the definition of subsidies and the determination of whether certain practices constitute a subsidy are left to international bodies. In the case of GATT Track II, or even EFTA in the late 1960s, this led to definitional chaos and ultimately the breakdown of the process. However, the one constant was that no country judged the government practices of its trading partners unilaterally. Even in bilateral contexts, the emphasis was on negotiation and compromise through international institutions, rather than accusation and confrontation, practices which characterise unilateralism.

Any regime that regulates subsidies must have at least three components: definition, investigation and discipline. Unilateralism is characterised by the fact that all three components of the regulatory regime are established by the complainant country within a broad and generally unhelpful international framework. In this context, each country may decide for itself what it will determine to be a subsidy, how it will verify the existence of a subsidy, and which subsidies it will consider punishable.

The instrument of choice in unilateral regimes for the regulation of subsidies is the countervailing duty (CVD). CVDs are imposed pursuant to a successful allegation of subsidisation by a foreign government and the showing of injury to domestic interests before a domestic tribunal. The tribunals base their analyses on definitions provided by domestic authorities and impose CVDs on the basis of

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Industrial Subsidies and Friction in World Trade: Trade Policy or Trade Politics?
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • List of Abbreviations and Specialised Terms xi
  • Part I - The Background 1
  • 1 - Introduction 3
  • 2 - Domestic Industrial Subsidies in International Trade Theory 7
  • Part II - International Institutions for the Regulation of Subsidies 45
  • Introduction 47
  • 3 - Multilateral Regulation of Subsidies 50
  • 4 - Supranational Regulation of Subsidies 81
  • 5 - Unilateral Regulation of Subsidies 97
  • Part III - The Outlook 131
  • 6 - The Uruguay Round 133
  • 7 - Conclusion 151
  • Notes 157
  • Bibliography 193
  • Index 208
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