One of the ways in which the grant agreement facilitates compliance with existing rules is by notifying grants. Each WTO member is required to notify the WTO Subsidies Committee each year of any subsidy (as defined in the subsidy agreement) that it grants or maintains on its territory. These grant submissions are published in the subsidy electronic enforcement library, managed by the U.S. Department of Commerce`s Subsidies Enforcement Office. They are a valuable source of information on foreign subsidy practices. The agreement defines two categories of subsidies: prohibited and achievable. It originally included a third category: unenforceable subsidies. This category lasted five years and ended on December 31, 1999 and was not renewed. The agreement applies to both agricultural and industrial products, unless subsidies are tax-exempt under the agricultural agreement peace clause, which is due to expire at the end of 2003. A subsidy is of particular importance under the subsidies agreement and U.S.
law (Title VII of the Customs Act of 1930). A grant is defined as a “financial contribution” from a government that provides an advantage. Among the forms that a subsidy can take is: under the agreement, only “specific” subsidies can be taken. A specific grant is a grant that is only awarded to a particular company or group. Yes, yes. If your export activity is commercially harmed by subsidized foreign competition, contact the U.S. Department of Commerce`s Subsidy Enforcement Office. A representative of the Grant Enforcement Agency will work with you to gather relevant information and assess the facts. If sufficient reliable data are available, the Grants Office may consult with an inter-institutional team, including representatives of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), on how to proceed in the most effective manner of action. In many cases, addressing the issue can lead to faster and more practical solutions than the use of WTO dispute resolution, through informal contacts, formal bilateral meetings and/or discussions within the WTO`s subsidies committee.
These other approaches may also reveal additional information or improve our understanding of what the other country is doing, which may influence the decision on next steps, including the possibility of pursuing the problem for reasons other than those provided for by WTO subsidy rules.