Export subsidies: there they go again

So much for the undertaking that the EC Members gave at the November, 2008, meeting of the G-20 in Washington, called to organize government response to the financial crisis and the impending recession. The EC action is narrowly within the scope of that watery promise, of course:

“We underscore the critical importance of rejecting protectionism and not turning inward in times of financial uncertainty. In this regard, within the next 12 months, we will refrain from raising new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services, imposing new export restrictions, or implementing World Trade Organization (WTO) inconsistent measures to stimulate exports.” extract from the G-20 Declaration

Unfortunately, this sort of @#%#-you policy from the world’s wealthiest states is the reason that international cooperation has to be backed by agreements with meaningful, reciprocal enforcement. It justifies continuing skepticism about the EC’s tactics of overloading WTO trade liberalization ‘modalities’ with rococo complications designed to permit the Commission to exercise full policy autonomy under the guise of cooperation.

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