The Relationship between the WTO Agreement on Agriculture and the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures

19 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2015 Last revised: 14 Jul 2015

See all articles by Lorand Bartels

Lorand Bartels

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law

Date Written: July 1, 2015

Abstract

Since the expiry of the ‘peace clause’ at the end of 2003, it has been unclear which obligations under the WTO SCM Agreement apply to subsidies granted to agricultural products. This is in particular important for export subsidies, which are prohibited under the SCM Agreement, but, to some degree, recognised in the Agriculture Agreement. The matter is regulated by Article 21.1 of the Agriculture Agreement, which has been interpreted by the WTO Appellate Body in different ways, including as an expression of the lex specialis principle. This paper analyses this provision, and considers how it affects different forms of agricultural subsidies. It concludes that it would take an extension of the Appellate Body’s current interpretive framework to save export subsidies from the disciplines of the SCM Agreement.

Keywords: WTO law, public international law, treaty conflicts, lex specialis, WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, WTO Agreement on Agriculture

JEL Classification: H2, H20, H3, H7, H71, K3, K33

Suggested Citation

Bartels, Lorand, The Relationship between the WTO Agreement on Agriculture and the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (July 1, 2015). University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 38/2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2627571 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2627571

Lorand Bartels (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

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