The World Bank reviews the impact of export subsidies on developing countries
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CTA. 2003. The World Bank reviews the impact of export subsidies on developing countries. Agritrade, November 2003. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52781
The World Bank released a staff trade note on 'Export Subsidies: ...
The World Bank released a staff trade note on 'Export Subsidies: Agricultural Reform and Developing Countries' on September 10th 2003, reviewing the WTO experience in disciplining export subsidies both overt and hidden. It notes that while Uruguay Round commitments on reducing export subsidies were met, this was largely a result of the base periods chosen, which made the targets 'unusually easy to achieve'. It outlines the various ways governments circumvented subsidy limits while meeting their nominal commitments, and notes that there was weaker discipline on the less transparent forms of export support, highlighting this as a key area in the new round. It describes how the various forms of less transparent forms of export support (food aid, export credits, state trading enterprises) work. The paper makes a number of recommendations for further disciplining export support including: establishing a firm deadline for the elimination of export subsidies; the introduction of significant reductions in MFN tariffs, since this will automatically strengthen disciplines in export subsidies; the introduction of ad valorem limits on the per unit subsidy on a commodity-by-commodity basis; the banning of 'rolling over' of the agreed limits; close monitoring of export subsidies; the establishment of all commitments on a per product basis; the closing of loopholes; the extension of disciplines on export subsidies to other forms of export support. Comment: The paper provides a useful review of the export subsidies debates. It should be borne in mind however that it refers to all developing countries, and export support from all major OECD countries and not simply ACP-EU trade issues arising from the deployment of export subsidies. Thus it neglects the important role that export subsidies can play in supplying cheap raw materials to value-added processing industries in ACP countries which lack an adequate raw materials base.