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Strengthening the WTO Subsidies Regime

Opeida, Zvenyslava (2018) Strengthening the WTO Subsidies Regime. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Zvenyslava Opeida, S.J.D.
University of Pittsburgh, 2017

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has become one of the most important dispute resolution bodies in international law. It applies rules which both limit the use of subsidies that might distort international trade and control the unilateral responses to such subsidies by governments. The WTO jurisprudence, however, demonstrates that the effectiveness and predictability of the subsidy regime require a clearer definition of that regime’s object and purpose. The Subsidies and Countervailing Measures Agreement (SCM Agreement), however, does not contain any express statement of the object and purpose of the WTO subsidy regime, which raises difficulties for both interpreting the current provisions and proposing changes to the Agreement in a coherent manner.

I propose that the object and purpose of the SCM Agreement should be identified as protecting competition in the market as a means of ensuring economic efficiency. Having defined the object and purpose of the WTO subsidy regime, I identify the parts of the SCM Agreement that are most inconsistent with the proposed objectives and propose changes to the SCM Agreement in order to bring it in line with the proposed object and purpose. First, to better serve the objective of protection of the process of competition, I propose changing the causality requirement for establishing injury to domestic industry. In particular, I recommend to require that injury to the domestic industry is caused by subsidization rather than subsidized imports. Second, to better serve the objective of promoting economic efficiency and increasing total welfare, I propose to reinstate the category of non-actionable subsidies. This would enable WTO
Members to grant subsidies that correct market distortions, such as environmental subsidies, research and development subsidies and regional aid subsidies. Finally, to ensure that measures used to counteract subsidies do not themselves create market distortions and reduce welfare, I propose to limit the unilateral use of countervailing duties by WTO Members by imposing mandatory public interest and lesser duty requirements.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Opeida, Zvenyslavazvo2@pitt.eduzvo20000-0002-3342-637X
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBrand,
Committee MemberCurran,
Committee MemberCassing,
Committee MemberWeiss,
Date: 17 January 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 30 August 2017
Approval Date: 17 January 2018
Submission Date: 20 November 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 368
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Law > Law
Degree: SJD - Doctor of Juridical Science
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: World Trade Organization, subsidies, countervailing duties
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2018 21:55
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2018 21:55


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