Enforcing WTO Obligations: What Can We Learn from Export Subsidies?

10(3) Journal of International Economic Law 653-683, 2007

31 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2013

See all articles by Andrew James Green

Andrew James Green

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Michael J. Trebilcock

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

Export subsidies provide a good example for discussing some interesting questions underlying the debate over reforming the current system of remedies for violations of World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations. If the purpose of trade agreements is to maximize economic welfare, discussion of violations of WTO obligations will need to take account of the form of both the requirement and the remedy. The requirement could take the form of a standard or a rule and may be more or less complex. The remedy could take the form of a property rule or a liability rule. Further, both the level and the form of the remedy will be important. Each type of violation needs to be examined separately to determine whether flexibility to adapt to new circumstances should come through the requirement or the remedy. In the case of export subsidies, the current simple rule prohibiting export subsidies is likely optimal but the remedies which support this rule need to be reformed. They are currently both over-inclusive and under-inclusive and do not provide sufficient flexibility or incentive for efficient adjustment. This article considers some alternative remedies for export subsidies and discusses the general lessons for the debate on remedies for violations of WTO obligations.

Suggested Citation

Green, Andrew James and Trebilcock, Michael J., Enforcing WTO Obligations: What Can We Learn from Export Subsidies? (2007). 10(3) Journal of International Economic Law 653-683, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2289942

Andrew James Green (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada

Michael J. Trebilcock

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-5843 (Phone)
416-978-1279 (Fax)

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