Export Taxes under WTO Agreements
This memorandum analyzes the coverage of export taxes in the GATT and WTO regime. While export taxes are not directly regulated under WTO law, they could potentially be challenged under several provisions. GATT Article II:1(b) enables a contracting party to challenge an export tax only if another member has made binding commitments in its schedule of concessions and violates these commitments. GATT Article XI:1 potentially enables a contracting party to challenge an export tax only if it amounts to a de facto export ban. Additionally, as regards GATT Article XVI:1, the ordinary meaning and negotiation history of “income and price support” seem to suggest that export taxes is covered under this provision. Relatedly, SCM Article 1.1(a)(2) could be interpreted broadly to capture export tax. Finally, The Agreement on Agriculture also provides possibility to challenge export taxes.
Jeanne Lambert and Sascha Rueffer