Subsidies Reform

Subsidies have long been an issue in the international trade system. Many governments prioritise farmers in domestic budget-setting, with some providing large subsidies in various forms. On the industrial policy side subsidies have long been part of the policy toolkit. And as greenhouse gas mitigation rises rapidly up the global agenda, subsidies to support emissions reductions technology development are high on many governments' priority lists.

In the Uruguay Round of GATT trade negotiations the basic architecture of, and rules governing, recourse to subsidies was codified in the Agreements on Agriculture, and Subsidies and Countervailing Measures. However, this architecture has not been reformed since then. Moreover, in the wake of the global financial crisis as well as COVID 19 many fiscal imbalances have built up in the global economy while geopolitical competition gathers pace and the planet heats up. The old rules, while still appropriate in broad outline, need to be reformed.

Our objectives

In this research programme we provide a range of materials and outputs related to work we are conducting pursuant to reform of the global architecture of subsidies rules. Currently our work is divided into two streams: