SUBSIDIES AND COUNTERVAILING MEASURES

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Despite efforts to encourage members to improve the timeliness of their notifications, including offers of technical assistance from the WTO Secretariat, “compliance with the obligation to notify subsidies unfortunately remains low,” the chair, Michèle Legault Dooley of Canada, told the committee.

A total of 83 WTO members have not yet made their new and full subsidy notifications for 2019, despite a deadline for submission of notifications more than a year ago. In addition, 68 members still have not made their subsidy notifications for 2017, although the deadline was more than three years ago, while 58 members still have not made their 2015 notifications, which were due more than five years ago.

The chair noted that the “chronic” low compliance with subsidy notifications continues despite members having stressed the importance of the information provided through subsidy notifications and recommitting at their 2017 Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires to the implementation of existing notification obligations under Article 25.3 of the SCM Agreement.

The United States submitted a further revised proposal (G/SCM/W/557/Rev.4) for ensuring timely responses to questions posed by members on the subsidy programmes of other members. 

Several members expressed their support for the proposal, while one member cautioned developing countries may have difficulties in meeting the timelines for responses. Members agreed to continue to discuss the proposal.

Canada, the European Union, Norway, Japan and the United States expressed their joint concern about the role of subsidies in contributing to excess production capacity in certain sectors.

Election of chair

At the end of the meeting, members elected Ms Sungyo Choi of the Republic of Korea as the new chair of the SCM Committee.

Next meeting

The next meeting of the SCM Committee is tentatively scheduled to take place the week of 26 April 2021.

More information about the SCM Agreement and the WTO's work on subsidies and countervailing measures can be found here.

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