Luca Rubini's monograph on the definition of subsidy and State aid is cited in a WTO Panel Report

Posted on Friday 28th September 2012

Luca Rubini’s The Definition of Subsidy and State Aid: WTO and EC Law in Comparative Perspective (Oxford University Press, 2009) provides the first attempt to date to offer a conceptual framework of analysis of definitional issues of subsidy in the WTO and the EU. The book aims to help academics, officials, policy-makers, and judges make sense of the conceptual and practical technical and policy issues coming out from the definition of subsidy.

The Definition of Subsidy and State Aid has been well received in academic and policy circles, with many accolades of its worth and utility. The latest evidence of its impact came on 15 June 2012, when a WTO Panel in the China – Countervailing and anti-dumping duties on grain oriented flat-rolled electrical stell from the United States (DS414) dispute largely followed its analysis of the crucial concept of ‘price support’ and did expressly refer to the book. [footnote 104 to para. 7. 86.]

Luca Rubini said: “I am extremely delighted for this reference and citation which testifies to the originality and utility of the interpretative toolbox of the Definition of Subsidy and State Aid. This is even more gratifying if we consider that academic citations are extremely rare in the WTO. In this case, if one excepts a couple of references to dictionaries, the reference to my book is the only academic citation in a report of 174 pages with 654 footnotes”.

This reference, in the context of defining the important concept of ‘price support’, is even more relevant given that two important cases are currently pending before the WTO dispute settlement where the Panels have been asked to determine whether certain measures of support for renewable energy adopted by Canada amount to a form of ‘price support’ under the WTO Agreement on subsidies.