Author: Wolfgang Muller
Publisher:  Cambridge University Press – 736 pages
Book Review by: Sonu Chandiram

On the back cover of this book, there is this helpful note about its usefulness:

“Panels and the WTO Appellate Body have rendered a large number of complex and lengthy rulings on the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (known in short as ASCM). The reasoning behind these rulings is often intimately linked to the underlying facts of a particular  case and the methods of litigation adopted by the parties.”

“Without guidance, it is difficult to find and research a specific subsidy issue quickly. This book provides an essential article-by-article commentary on the Agreement and sets out the law as it emerges from this body of rulings, providing the legal basis for further analysis of subsidy disciplines within the realms of economics and political science.”

It also provides a summary of the negotiating history and the links to other WTO Agreements, such as the GATT 1994. This important reference work will appeal to international trade lawyers, government officials, researchers, students of international trade law, business associations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).”

Indeed, this is an important guide in the area of international trade, with specific rulings on various types of conflicts and disputes. What better, highly time-saving way to start the process of searching for an issue similar to yours, and coming to a resolution of your issue?

This book covers and discusses 32 topics organized around 11 Parts, as listed below:



  1. Part I – General Provisions
  2. Article 1 – Definition of a Subsidy
  3. Article 2 – Specificity
  4. Part II – Prohibited Subsidies
  5. Article 3 – Prohibition
  6. Article 4 – Remedies
  7. Part III – Actionable Subsidies
  8. Article 5 – Adverse Effects
  9. Article 6 – Serious Prejudice
  10. Article 7 – Remedies
  11. Part IV – Non-Actionable Subsidies
  12. Article 8 – Identification of a Non-Actionable Subsidy
  13. Article 9 – Consultation and Authorized Subsidies
  14. Part V – Countervailing Measures
  15. Article 10 – Application of Article VI of GATT 1994
  16. Article 11 – Initiation and Subsequent Investigation
  17. Article 12 – Evidence
  18. Article 13 – Consultations
  19. Article 14 – Calculation of Amount of a Subsidy in Terms of Benefit to the Recipient
  20. Article 15 – Determination of injury
  21. Article 16 – Definition of Domestic Industry
  22. Article 17 – Provisional Measures
  23. Article 18 – Undertakings
  24. Article 19 – Imposition and Collection of Countervailing Duties
  25. Article 20 – Retroactivity
  26. Article 21 – Duration and Review of Countervailing Duties and Undertakings
  27. Article 22 – Public Notice and Explanation of Determinations
  28. Article 23 – Judicial Review
  29. Part VI – Institutions
  30. Article 24– Committee on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures and Subsidiary Bodies
  31. Part VII – Notifications and Surveillance
  32. Article 25 – Notifications
  33. Article 26 – Surveillance
  34. Part VIII – Developing Country Members
  35. Article 27 – Special and Differential Treatment of Developing Country Members
  36. Part IX – Transitional Arrangements
  37. Article 28 – Existing Programmes
  38. Article 29 – Transformation into a Market Economy
  39. Part X – Dispute Settlement
  40. Article 30 – Discussion of Articles XXII and XXIII of GATT 994
  41. Part XI – Final Provisions
  42. Article 31 – Provisional Application
  43. Article 32 – Other Final Applications

The World Trade Organization (WTO) consists of 160 member countries (as of 2017 when this book was published) and its Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (ASCM) is one of its major accomplishments. This agreement came into existence sometime during the course of the well-known Uruguay Round of multinational trade negotiations (MTNs) that spanned from 1986 to 1993.

Our world revolves around trade, and trade has become critically important to us, as we have become increasingly interdependent on one another for products not found within our national boundaries, and services that enhance the quality of our lives, but are not always readily available where we live.

While the benefits of buying and selling products among ourselves are so numerous, trade rules are necessary to avoid conflicts. That is where the value of agreements can be easily appreciated. This book of over 700 pages provides the details of trade among nations that are necessary for harmonious relationships among ourselves, and it is quite comprehensive


Author: Wolfgang Muller works in the European Commission (Directorate General for Trade) and heads the policy unit of the Commission’s trade remedy services and in this capacity represents the European Union in the relevant World Trade Organization (WTO) committees.