Policy Analysis

Trade and Subsidies: Undermining the trading system with public funds

By Mark Halle on August 21, 2009
In this IISD Commentary, Mark Halle describes how subsidies undermine the international trading system and its potential to help the transition to sustainable development.

"Solving this situation is not simply a matter of all sides showing marginal flexibility. It is not a matter of stumbling across the ingenious formula that everyone has missed in their haste. It is not a matter of cutting a few bilateral deals in the corridors and forcing a consensus on the more recalcitrant WTO members," writes Halle. "Instead, it requires recognizing that, in many ways, the current organization of both national and global economies seriously undermines the goals that trade liberalization is intended to serve, and recognition that we must retool the trading system to confront these issues.

This article will appear in October in "Peace and Prosperity through Global Trade," a joint publication of the Evian Group and the International Chamber of Commerce.