The Relationship between the WTO Agreement on Agriculture and the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures
19 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2015 Last revised: 14 Jul 2015
Date Written: July 1, 2015
Since the expiry of the ‘peace clause’ at the end of 2003, it has been unclear which obligations under the WTO SCM Agreement apply to subsidies granted to agricultural products. This is in particular important for export subsidies, which are prohibited under the SCM Agreement, but, to some degree, recognised in the Agriculture Agreement. The matter is regulated by Article 21.1 of the Agriculture Agreement, which has been interpreted by the WTO Appellate Body in different ways, including as an expression of the lex specialis principle. This paper analyses this provision, and considers how it affects different forms of agricultural subsidies. It concludes that it would take an extension of the Appellate Body’s current interpretive framework to save export subsidies from the disciplines of the SCM Agreement.
Keywords: WTO law, public international law, treaty conflicts, lex specialis, WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, WTO Agreement on Agriculture
JEL Classification: H2, H20, H3, H7, H71, K3, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation