This book seeks to explain and analyze both the concepts underlying the subsidy problem and the most important of the issues involved.
Now available directly from: IIE11 Dupont Circle, NWWashington, DC 20036 Tel: (202) 328-9000 Subsidies raise some of the most important and difficult issues of contemporary international economic relations. They are increasingly viewed as a key source of distortions to trade and investment flows and, while important initial steps have been made to bring them under international control, most governments view these efforts as an intrusion into their national sovereignty, and sharp differences remain concerning the nature and legitimacy of various subsidy practices. This book seeks to explain and analyze both the concepts underlying the subsidy problem and the most important of the issues involved. It discusses the various standards used to determine the existence and impact of subsidies in both agricultural and industrial trade, focusing in particular on the highly contentious problems of export credits, tax incentives, and the treatment of developing countries. One section of the book covers domestic subsidies, defining and relating them to international trade and offering proposals on how to deal with them constructively. The book concludes with a series of proposals for improving the ability of the international trading system to deal with problems posed by subsidies. These include more extensive (and perhaps altered) use of countervailing duties, the new concept of countervailing subsidies, and other possible means of handling third country markets. Changes in the existing international regime and in domestic legal structures are recommended to limit the adverse economic and political effects of subsidy practices.
Gary Clyde Hufbauer is a Senior Fellow at the Institute and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Trade and Investment Policy. Joanna Shelton-Erb is an international economist at the United States Treasury Department.