WTO Disciplines on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures: Balancing Policy Space and Legal Constraints

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Does the WTO leave appropriate policy space to its Members to pursue legitimate objectives, such as the economic development of developing countries, the conversion to a greener economy, or recovery in times of a global economic downturn? This legal and normative analysis of the WTO rules on subsidies and countervailing measures sheds light on why governments resort to subsidization and, by tracing the historical origins of the SCM Agreement and the Agreement on Agriculture, on why they have been willing to gradually confine their policy space. This sets the stage for a systematic and comprehensive legal analysis of both agreements, which integrates the vast amount of case law and proposals tabled in the Doha round. A separate case study explores the complex rules on export credit support, and the book closes with an in-depth normative assessment of these WTO rules on subsidies and countervailing measures.