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Industrial policy tools questioned at the WTO

Publication date: 
Tuesday 31 March 2015
Author: 
Verónica Fossati, María Florencia Iborra y Adriana Molina

Many of the public policy tools that tended to be used by currently industrialized countries were restricted or even prohibited after the creation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and, even more so, after the emergence of the World Trade Organization in 1994. In this context, several of the instruments used by developing countries to achieve industrialization have been questioned by their peers within the framework of this multilateral body. This work will seek to identify them so as to spot specific aspects whose flexibilization would allow these countries to recover part of said tools.

To that aim, surveyance has been made of the claims submitted in the minutes of certain WTO Councils and Committees and of the cases processed before the Dispute Settlement Body. The results show that most of the questioning is made by industrialized countries and it falls on a small number of developing countries. Apart from that, it is mostly related to domestic or export subsidies, import licensing and local content requirements. 

Numeration: 
2
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