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RE: [greenyes] U.S. Trade Policy


Although there are requirements to report subsidies and countervailing measures to the WTO, this effort suffers from two important deficits. First, there are gaps in how the WTO defines subsidies that leave many programs out. Second, there is a huge range in the quality and coverage of the information that countries do report to the WTO even on the programs that are covered under current definitions. The organization has not yet chosen to clamp down on these reporting deficits, perhaps due to politicals pressures against doing so. In any case, a couple of draft papers I've seen don't suggest the situation will improve any time soon.



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>>> "Reindl, John" <Reindl@no.address> 10/13/04 09:07AM >>>
On the issue of tax subsidies and the wTO, does anyone have any information
about why the subsidies for mining and forestry are also not being brought
before the WTO?

As a recycler, I am especially concerned about the subsidies to forestry,
since paper and wood are the largest components of the material stream that
we handle, and are the largest parts of what goes into landfills.

Forestry not only receives massive subsidies in the US at the federal level,
but also at the state and local level, through state and county ownership of
forests that don't pay property taxes, income taxes or sales taxes, and
programs to provide tax breaks for private forests, such as Wisconsin's,
which has a price tag of somewhere around $50 to $100 million a year.

John Reindl
Dane County, WI

>
> I would like, if I may, to ask you a question concerning basic trade
> principles, in light of the U.S. position with regard to our Airbus
dispute
> with the European Community.
>
> If I understand our position in that case correctly, we argue that free
> trade under WTO rules is not whatever laissez-faire decrees, but rather
"is
> about fair competition and a level playing field," as you were quoted in
the
> October 7, 2004 Wall Street Journal ("U.S., Europe Sue Each Other at WTO
> Over Aircraft Subsidies"). In that regard, it seems to be our claim that
> Airbus enjoys excessively large tax subsidies, creating an unlevel playing

> field on which Boeing cannot fairly compete. We, therefore, have
petitioned
> to have WTO rule that the tax subsidies are an unfair trade practice,
> subject to penalties.








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