Expanding the Geostrategic Toolbox: The EU White Paper on Foreign Subsidies

Expanding the Geostrategic Toolbox: The EU White Paper on Foreign Subsidies

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On 17 June 2020, the European Commission (‘EC’) issued a White Paper proposing three new regulatory tools to tackle distortive effects that may be caused by foreign subsidies in the EU Single Market (the ‘White Paper’).    

The White Paper is the latest in a series of EU responses to rapidly growing concerns – in the EU and elsewhere – about increased geo-strategic and geo-economic competition between the world’s major economic powers – through government ownership, subsidization, or other forms of government control or involvement, or simply through active and often discriminatory industrial policy measures in sectors and industries that are considered to be of strategic interest.  The White Paper also comes, at least in part, as a response to an increased sense – in the EU and elsewhere – that the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other multilateral institutions may no longer be able to provide sufficient insulation against or a sufficiently strong legal and policy tool to address such concerns.

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