The Regulation of Subsidies Within the General Agreement on Trade in Services of the WTO: Problems and Prospects

This book provides a comprehensive analysis of services subsidies under the General Agreement on Trade in Services. It starts with a description of services and trade in services and of the salient characteristics that make regulation of services subsidies more complex than in the case of agricultural and industrial goods subsidies. It then analyzes the economic arguments underpinning the need for regulation, as well as the need for governments to retain sufficient latitude to implement non-trade related policy measures. A description of the data on services subsidies available to date is followed by a classification of services subsidies according to their distortive effects and by a detailed analysis of those elements that may form a definition of services subsidies for the purpose of a future regulatory framework. A key section is devoted to the analysis of those existing provisions of the General Agreement on Trade in Services that may exert a certain measure of discipline on services subsidies and to the question of the desirability and technical feasibility of countervailing measures. Rules on services subsidies contained in regional trade agreements are also discussed.

Finally, and prior to the conclusions, two sectoral studies deal with the question of subsidies aimed to attract foreign direct investment

and subsidies to the audiovisual sector. The book represents the first extensive and comprehensive analysis of the issue of services subsidies in the context of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), and includes widespread references to the relevant European Union State Aid legislation and jurisprudence.