CVDs on “hidden subsidies”

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Joe Stiglitz wants the World Trade Organization to label the United States’ non-participation in the Kyoto Protocol a “hidden subsidy” and allow countries to impose a countervailing duty on US energy-intensive exports.

I fear that once the litigation gates open, “hidden subsidy” will be a phrase that lawyers and protectionists love. Is the absence of labor standards in developing countries a “hidden subsidy” to exporters of labor-intensive manufactures? Is loose anti-trust enforcement a subsidy to exporters in industries with economies of scale? How are we to think about the costs of mandating or providing or failing to mandate various benefits to employees? Costs are subjective; social costs doubly so.

“One of the main purposes of the WTO is to create a level playing field,” says Stiglitz in Making Globalization Work. His previous book, Fair Trade For All, gave me the impression that the WTO has never sought such a goal.

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2 Responses to “CVDs on “hidden subsidies””

  1. Daniel W. Drezner Says:

    The quickest way to dynamite the WTO out of existence

    The Center for Global Development’s Lawrence MacDonald blogs about Joe Stiglitz’s new idea to scupper the WTO make trade “fairer”: Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz urged at a CGD event that U.S. trade partners ask the WTO for authority to impose…

  2. Biopolitical Says:

    Save the planet with Joseph Stiglitz

    First, many Kyoto signatory countries are failing to comply with the protocol. Second, the proposed trade sanctions would not “save the planet.”

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