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The Law of Subsidies under the GATT/WTO System

The Law of Subsidies under the GATT/WTO System

By Marc Benitah


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This work on the law of subsidies has been long-awaited by many actors in international trade. With its introduction of the concept of 'attenuation' of entitlement, Marc Benitah's utterly new analysis alters our understanding of the international economic law of subsidies - and its future invocation and jurisprudence - forever.

The issue of subsidies is arguably the predominant theme, at this moment, in international economic law, and a consistent approach to the legal treatment of subsidies is urgently needed. In Professor Benitah's view, the answer lies in the recognition that entitlements granted to a party seeking to defend itself against the `adverse effects' of subsidies must be `attenuated' in order to avoid undesirable economic and social consequences.

In the various techniques of attenuation - thoroughly described and analyzed in this book - may be found the unifying thread on which a logical, coherent law of subsidies may be strung.

  • Why techniques of attenuation are intimately linked to the birth of past and future legal disputes relating to subsidies
  • Why significant techniques of attenuation (e.g. taking into account the positive impact of a subsidy on consumers) have not arisen in the GATT/WTO context
  • Why much recent theoretical debate on the concept of 'distortion' has not led to a breakthrough in the law of subsidies
  • Why attenuations favouring developing countries are surprisingly legally vulnerable in practice
  • Why deliberate recourse to techniques of attenuation necessitates their continuing clarification through a case law process.

    By referring to the legal materials of both the GATT 1947 and the WTO systems at each point in his demonstration, Professor Benitah lays a substantial groundwork for determining innovative WTO norms.

  • Publish Date 11/01/2001
    Publish Frequency As Needed
    Product Line Kluwer Law International
    ISBN 9789041198273
    SKU 10058654-0001
    Table of Contents

      Part I: Legal Techniques for Attenuating Entitlements Granted to the Party Allegedly Affected by a Subsidy
      A. Explicit Techniques of Attenuation
      B. Implicit Techniques of Attenuation
      C. The Relative Weakness of Attenuations in the Countervailing Duty Field

      Part II: Techniques of Attenuation as a Seed for the Birth of Legal Disputes
      A. Legal Disputes Arising from the Ambiguous Link Between Two Texts
      B. Disputes Arising from Poorly Defined Concepts
      C. The Failure of Extremist Techniques of Interpretation
      C(a). The failure of Country B's sophisticated economic interpretations
      C(b). The Failure of Attempts to Intensify Country B's Attenuations through an Extremist Technique of Interpretation
      D. Vulnerability of Attenuations Favoring Developing Countries
      E. The Problematic Coherent Application of Attenuations Derived from the Concept of `Distortion'
      F. Causality Between Subsidy and Injury for the Purpose of Countervailing Duties: A Legally Indeterminate Attenuation

      Part III: Obstacles in the Way of Clarifying Attenuated Norms Through the Case Law Process