Journal of international economic law vol:12 issue:1 pages:63-113
This contribution examines the degree of policy space the WTO leaves its Members to support export credits for non-agricultural goods. In the light of existing case law, it illustrates that export credit support offered by export credit agencies that aims at complementing the private trade finance market would in principle be prohibited under the SCM Agreement. However, while some low-income countries can rely on a specific exception on the prohibition on export subsidies, all WTO Members can, on the basis of the Illustrative List of Export Subsidies, justify certain subsidized export credits that are in accordance with the interest rate provisions of the OECD Arrangement. But, as the case law and the OECD Arrangement currently stand, subsidized export credit guarantees and insurance as well as subsidized short-term export credits cannot rely on this safe haven. Hence, the article shows that export credit agencies, except for those of some low-income countries, cannot play a complementary role to the private market in offering such support. Moreover, this contribution demonstrates that export credit support in accordance with the safe haven might still be countervailable and actionable. Finally, it is argued that an exception which can be modified by a subgroup of WTO Members, like the safe haven, can no longer be accepted.