Members Express Concerns on Lack of Transparency at WTO Subsidies Committee Meeting

Missing notifications from WTO members outlining the subsidies they give to their enterprises continues to be an irritant in discussions in the WTO’s Committee on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM). In a meeting on 27 April, the chair of the committee, Erik Solberg of Norway, once again highlighted the problem of absent notifications.

The chair noted that despite reminders to members to submit their notifications in time, 80 members have still not submitted their 2019 notifications. In addition, 67 members still have not submitted their 2017 subsidy notifications, and 57 have still failed to submit their 2015 notifications.

The chair strongly urged all WTO members to submit their notifications as soon as possible and use the technical assistance available through the WTO Secretariat if help was needed in filing the notifications. He also referred to the revised Handbook on Notification Requirements, which is available in all three official languages of the WTO.

The committee continued to discuss the revised proposal (G/SCM/W/557/Rev.4)  submitted by the United States for ensuring timely responses to questions posed by members under Article 25.8 of the SCM Agreement.

Review of subsidy notifications from members

The committee reviewed new and full subsidy notifications for 2019 submitted by Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Malaysia, Namibia and Saudi Arabia. It continued its review of 2019 subsidy notifications from Chile, China, the European Union, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, the United States and Viet Nam.  The committee also continued its review of notifications for 2017 submitted by China and Mexico, for 2015 submitted by China, and for 2009 submitted by Gabon.

National legislation

The committee reviewed new notifications of legislation submitted by Argentina, Brazil, Canada, India, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Turkey and the United States. It continued its review of the legislative notifications of Bolivia, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia and the United Kingdom previously reviewed by the committee.

Semi-annual reports of members on countervailing duty actions

The committee addressed the semi-annual reports of countervailing duty actions submitted by Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, the European Union, India, Mexico, Peru, Turkey, Chinese Taipei, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States and Viet Nam.

In addition to the semi-annual reports, the SCM Agreement requires members to submit notifications without delay of all preliminary and final anti-dumping actions taken. Reports during the review period were received from Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Mexico, the United Kingdom, the United States and Viet Nam.