WTO Feed-in-Tariff Decision

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On May 6, 2013 the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) held that Canada was in breach of its national treatment obligations under Article III:4 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) because the Government of Ontario made the purchase of domestic components  a condition of participation in the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) program under Ontario’s Green Energy Act.

Canada and Ontario continued to be successful in their claim that the payment of the higher FIT rates to the generators was not an illegal prohibited subsidy under the Subsidies and Countervailing Measures Agreement. The success rested on the continued inability of the complainants Japan and Europe to establish that the payment of the higher FIT rate conferred a benefit on the generators.

More to come on what this ruling means for lenders and project developers in Ontario’s renewable sector.

Appellate Body of the World Trade Organisation Article III:4 Europe feed-in-tariff FIT GATT General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade Japan Ontario Green Energy Act Subsidies and Countervailing Measures Agreement World Trade Organisation WTO

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