This work on the law of subsidies has been long-awaited by many actors in international trade. With its introduction of the concept of 'attenuation' of entitlement, Marc Benitah's utterly new analysis alters our understanding of the international economic law of subsidies - and its future invocation and jurisprudence - forever.
The issue of subsidies is arguably the predominant theme, at this moment, in international economic law, and a consistent approach to the legal treatment of subsidies is urgently needed. In Professor Benitah's view, the answer lies in the recognition that entitlements granted to a party seeking to defend itself against the `adverse effects' of subsidies must be `attenuated' in order to avoid undesirable economic and social consequences.
In the various techniques of attenuation - thoroughly described and analyzed in this book - may be found the unifying thread on which a logical, coherent law of subsidies may be strung.
Why techniques of attenuation are intimately linked to the birth of past and future legal disputes relating to subsidies
Why significant techniques of attenuation (e.g. taking into account the positive impact of a subsidy on consumers) have not arisen in the GATT/WTO context
Why much recent theoretical debate on the concept of 'distortion' has not led to a breakthrough in the law of subsidies
Why attenuations favouring developing countries are surprisingly legally vulnerable in practice
Why deliberate recourse to techniques of attenuation necessitates their continuing clarification through a case law process.
By referring to the legal materials of both the GATT 1947 and the WTO systems at each point in his demonstration, Professor Benitah lays a substantial groundwork for determining innovative WTO norms.
Part I: Legal Techniques for Attenuating Entitlements Granted to the Party Allegedly Affected by a Subsidy
A. Explicit Techniques of Attenuation
B. Implicit Techniques of Attenuation
C. The Relative Weakness of Attenuations in the Countervailing Duty Field
Part II: Techniques of Attenuation as a Seed for the Birth of Legal Disputes
A. Legal Disputes Arising from the Ambiguous Link Between Two Texts
B. Disputes Arising from Poorly Defined Concepts
C. The Failure of Extremist Techniques of Interpretation
C(a). The failure of Country B's sophisticated economic interpretations
C(b). The Failure of Attempts to Intensify Country B's Attenuations through an Extremist Technique of Interpretation
D. Vulnerability of Attenuations Favoring Developing Countries
E. The Problematic Coherent Application of Attenuations Derived from the Concept of `Distortion'
F. Causality Between Subsidy and Injury for the Purpose of Countervailing Duties: A Legally Indeterminate Attenuation
Part III: Obstacles in the Way of Clarifying Attenuated Norms Through the Case Law Process
` Professor Benitah's book deeply renews the analysis of the law of subsidies in the multilateral commercial system. '
Professor T. Flory, European Chair Jean Monnet, University of Paris XII
` This book invites us to a renewed analysis of the role of the "judge" in this painful period of globalization. '
Revue Internationale de Droit Economique (1999/I)
` One cannot deny the importance. . . of this book. '
Canadian Yearbook of International Law (1998)
` The innovative approach of this book offers to the reader a thorough analysis of the legal treatment of subsidies under the GATT/WTO system. '
Revue Générale de Droit International Public (1999/I)
` A stimulating analysis, very surprising sometimes, which should prove to be fruitful. '
J.-F. Abgrall, Ministry of International Affairs, Quebec ; Director-General of Commercial Policy during the Uruguay Round
` Any library collection specializing in trade matters should include this fresh account of the world of subsidies, and its global impact in the GATT/WTO context. This well-conceived, technical but readable, and quite authoritative analysis of the law of subsidies will be an important adjunct to any academic course or law practice which delves into the need for consistency of application regarding local subsidies for outgoing products. '
Newsletter UN21 Interest Group of the American Society of International Law, 25 (June 2002)