Download Energy Dual Pricing in the WTO: Analysis and Prospects in the Context of Russia s Accession to the World Trade Organization epub
by Yulia Selivanova
The present study examines the consistency of energy dual pricing with WTO rules - the most controversial issue of energy policy to be addressed in the WTO context. Under dual pricing policy, energy-endowed states sell their energy within their domestic markets at preferential prices that are significantly lower than those charged for the same product in export markets. The issue of energy dual pricing had proven to be a stumbling block during accession negotiations of major energy-producing states, primarily because energy intensive downstream industries in such countries traditionally benefit from the preferential pricing policies of their governments in the domestic market. Such industries enjoy a competitive advantage over producers located in countries in which energy is imported. Current high energy prices render dual pricing policies of energy-endowed states especially sensitive. The study analyses the consistency of energy dual pricing policy with WTO rules on subsidies, state trading, export restrictions and maximum price controls. The analysis is carried out on the basis of the policy applied by Russia with respect to natural gas, as this practice has arguably created the most controversy. The core of the analysis is focused on the application of the WTO rules on subsidies to energy dual pricing policy. The study also conducts a comparative examination of the practices of the United States and the European Union regarding countervailing duty investigation of energy dual pricing programs. In addition, the study discusses the energy pricing policies of selected countries and considers the energy pricing issue in the context of WTO accession negotiations.
Cameron May (August 28, 2008)
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