The EU’s Export Refunds on Processed Foods: Legitimate in the WTO?

Export subsidies on processed foods are an important trade policy instrument for the European Union. GATT Article XVI legitimised the use of export subsidies on primary agricultural products, under certain circumstances, but forbade the use of export subsidies on non-primary products. However it was never satisfactorily resolved whether export subsidies could be paid on the primary agricultural products incorporated into processed products, such as pasta. The Uruguay Round Agreements, and particularly the Agreement on Agriculture (the URAA), apparently legitimised the EU’s practice of paying export subsidies on incorporated agricultural products, at least while the Peace Clause was in force. With the demise of the Peace Clause the question arises whether GATT Article XVI has any residual force, given that the range of primary agricultural products exempted by Article XVI from the ban on export subsidies is narrower than the list of agricultural products covered by the URAA.

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Journal Article
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Estey Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, Volume 07, Number 2
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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