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Subsidy agreements

  • Bagwell,K.
  • Staiger,R.W.

    (University of Wisconsin-Madison, Social Systems Research Institute)

International disputes over subsidies are increasingly disrupting the world trading system. The creation of the WTO was nearly prevented by disputes in the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations over the issue of negotiating disciplines on agricultural subsidies, an issue which continues to plague the ongoing Doha Round of WTO negotiations. Ongoing disputes over subsidies that violate existing WTO rules have led to the largest amount of authorized retaliation in GATT/WTO history. Yet the international rules that govern subsidies have received little attention in the form of systematic economic analysis. In this paper we provide a first formal analysis of the international rules that govern the use of subsidies to domestic production (as distinct from export subsidies). Our analysis highlights the impact of the new disciplines on subsidies that were added to GATT rules with the creation of the WTO. Our results suggest that, although GATT subsidy rules were typically viewed as weak and inadequate while the WTO subsidy rules are seen as representing a significant strengthening of multilateral disciplines on subsidies, the key changes introduced by the WTO subsidy rules may ultimately do more harm than good to the multilateral trading system, by undermining the ability of tariff negotiations to serve as the mechanism for expanding market access to more efficient levels.

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File URL: http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/econ/archive/wp2004-01.pdf
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Paper provided by Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems in its series Working papers with number 1.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:att:wimass:20041
Contact details of provider: Postal: UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN MADISON, SOCIAL SYSTEMS RESEARCH INSTITUTE(S.S.R.I.), MADISON WISCONSIN 53706 U.S.A.

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  1. repec:att:wimass:9605 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Bagwell,K. & Staiger,R.W., 1998. "An economic theory of GATT," Working papers 15, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  3. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2001. "Domestic Policies, National Sovereignty, And International Economic Institutions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 519-562, May.
  4. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2001. "Strategic Trade, Competitive Industries and Agricultural Trade Disputes," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 113-128, 07.
  5. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1996. "Strategic Export Subsidies and Reciprocal Trade Agreements: The Natural Monopoly Case," Discussion Papers 1156, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2004. "The Economics of the World Trading System," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262524341, June.
  7. Robert Z. Lawrence, 2003. "Crimes and Punishments?: Retaliation under the WTO," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 372.
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