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SUBSIDY WATCH BLOG

Explore news, commentary and analysis related to subsidies and sustainable development.

An Introduction to Investment Incentives

With the progressive dismantling of formal trade barriers as a result of many rounds of global trade negotiations, subsidies have become increasingly important as a way for governments to regulate economic activity within their territories.

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Blog: Supply Management in Canada: Lessons for the South

Raised on an egg producing farm during the 1960s and ‘70s, I witnessed the transition from free-run to caged-layer technology, a move that allowed producers to expand their operations rapidly from farms of a few thousand layers to tens of thousands of layers. That, in turn, sparked a shift in Canada's agricultural policy.

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A new role for the Permanent Group of Experts on Subsidies?

The World Trade Organization's rotating group of five independent subsidy experts - the so-called Permanent Group of Experts (PGE) - is unique. It cannot, however, be considered a roaring success. This obscure group of trade lawyers and academics, "highly qualified in the field of subsidies and trade relations," has no counterpart at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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Climate Change: Is there Place for a WTO Anti-Subsidy Strategy?

In a recent article ("A New Agenda for Global Warming"), Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel laureate in economics and former Chief Economist at the World Bank, suggests that Japan, Europe, and the other signatories of Kyoto should immediately bring a WTO subsidy case against the United States for not ratifying the Kyoto Convention and for not taxing adequately CO2 emissions by US firms.

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An Introduction to Energy Subsidies

The recent surge in international energy prices has placed energy subsidies at the forefront of the economic policy agenda in many countries, particularly where government interventions are intended to keep prices low to households and industry, or to protect indigenous energy industries from foreign competition.

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Subsidies to biofuels: checking the bait

People invariably ask, given we have only recently started in this business, why did we choose to work on biofuels? In deciding research priorities we have several criteria. One is that we would not try to duplicate the work of others. Another is that when we look into subsidies to a particular sector, the sector should be one that is subsidized by many countries.

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Commentary: An Introduction to Service Subsidies

The last round of World Trade Organization (WTO) trade talks, the Uruguay Round, broke new ground by broadening the scope of world trade rules to cover areas never before subject to multilateral disciplines, and the services sector was without doubt where such broadening was most significant in economic terms.

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Subsidies are the Wrong Road to Biofuels

Ethanol and other biofuels allow us to use solar energy (collected by plants or even salvaged from trash) instead of fossil fuels just by mixing them with the gasoline and diesel we already use. There is a lot to be said for them, and the government (U.S.) is right to encourage their use.

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Alternative energy: beware the hidden costs

Asian governments are caught between an ever-increasing demand for cheap energy to fuel development and an unabating rise in global oil prices. A few South-east Asian governments are feeling the financial pain of costly fuel subsidies and are looking elsewhere for energy sources. The hunt for alternative energy sources has led Asian nations to explore biofuel technology, among others.

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Blog: Agricultural Subsidies: An Opportunity Lost?

The U.S. refusal to make deeper cuts to its agricultural subsidies was one of the main reasons for suspension of negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva. The United States was offering more cuts, but only if other countries made much bigger cuts to their tariffs. Since the U.S. offer on subsidies was still limited and since none of the other WTO members had a mandate to get near the U.S. market access demands, governments called it quits.

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Towards a Better Deal

The crash of the World Trade Organization (WTO) talks was greeted with muted cheers by some protected farmers in wealthy countries, some even buying new tractors to celebrate yet another failure to produce a more efficient and just global marketplace.

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Rara Piscis: Will Fish Really Fly at the WTO?

The World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations aimed at eliminating subsidies that drive overfishing are a rare species within the Doha Round of global trade talks. Although discussed side by side with core trade issues such as "antidumping", the topic is recognized as something new and different.

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