Tuesday, January 24, 2012

WTO to Hear EU and Japan Together over Ontario Feed-in Tariff

The trade charges against Ontario's renegade regime are moving into the hearing stage

ICTSD • WTO to Hear EU and Japan Together over Ontario Feed-in Tariff:
A heated election process in Ontario in autumn 2011 where the FIT programme itself took centre stage, had fuelled hopes for such a scenario. With the former Liberal governmental party staying in office, however, the FIT programme has been endorsed.Though renewable energy subsidisation in and of itself is not being challenged in the dispute, experts suggest most WTO members would prefer the WTO not to rule on a dispute so close to the larger climate change mitigation and trade debate. Also, many EU members maintain similar FIT programmes, thus shying away from litigation.Canadian policy experts further continue to warn that even a victory for Japan and the EU could result in eventual disappointment as in this case Canadian provinces cannot be forced by the federal government - which is accountable to the WTO - to bring their measures into compliance.Japan and the EU contend that Ontario’s law violates most-favoured nation treatment rules in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMS) since the FIT regime requires dedicated amounts of Ontario-originated green energy goods and services. Moreover, they content that the measure constitutes a prohibited subsidy under the WTO’s Subsidy and Countervailing Duty Agreement (SCMA).
More in the full article here

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