WTO-Panel rules against Ontario’s Feed-In Tariff local content rules

(LEXEGESE) - The World Trade Organization released on December 19, 2012 its decision on complaints by Japan and the European Union regarding Ontario’s Feed-In Tariff local content rules. I. Background The dispute concerns the domestic content requirements that must be complied with in the design and construction of certain electricity generation facilities utilizing solar photovoltaic and windpower technology in order to qualify for guaranteed electricity prices offered under the Feed-In Tariff (“FIT”) Programme, adopted by the Government of the Province of Ontario, as well as all individual FIT and microFIT Contracts implementing these requirements since the FIT Programme's inception in 2009 (“the challenged measures”). The European Union claimed that the domestic content requirements provided for and implemented under the challenged measures place Canada in violation of: (i) the national treatment obligation under Article III:4 of the GATT 1994; (ii) the prohibition that is set out in Article 2.1 of the TRIMs Agreement on the application of any trade-related investment measures that are inconsistent with Article III of the GATT 1994; and (iii) the prohibition on import substitution subsidies prescribed in Articles 3.1(b) and 3.2 of the SCM Agreement. II. Summary of key findings The WTO-Panel upheld European Union's claims under Article 2.1 of the TRIMs Agreement and Article III:4 of the GATT 1994. After noting that the trade-related investment measures described in paragraph 1(a) of the Illustrative List found in the Annex to the TRIMs Agreement are considered to be inconsistent with Article 2.1 of the TRIMs Agreement and Article III:4 of the GATT 1994, subject to the operation of inter alia Article III:8(a) of the GATT 1994, the Panel set about determining: (i) whether Canada could rely upon Article III:8(a) of the GATT 1994 to remove the challenged measures from the operation of Article 2 ...Zum vollständigen Artikel


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