Trade Agreement Exemptions
SPS Agreement: Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures: a WTO agreement defining the rights and obligations of members with respect to sps measures. Unlike the complexity of engagement plans, these lists are largely self-explanatory and are structured in a straight line. In order to ensure a complete and accurate list of exemptions from the capital plus,” five types of information are required for each exception: (i) a description of the sector or sectors in which the exemption applies; (ii) a description of the measure indicating the reasons why it is inconsistent with Article II; (iii) the country or countries subject to the measure; (iv) the expected duration of the exemption; (v) the conditions justifying the need for the exemption. FIPA: Agreement on the Promotion and Protection of Foreign Investment. Canada has entered into 24 such bilateral agreements to open markets to foreign investment and protect the interests of Canadian investors in those markets. More information on the WTO and regional trade agreements is available on the WTO website at www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/region_e/region_e.htm. Intellectual property (IP): an umbrella term that refers to inventions, designs and creative works protected by rights such as patents, trademarks, industrial designs, geographical indications and copyrights. The OEE establishes non-discrimination obligations with regard to technical rules, standards and conformity assessment procedures. It also requires that such measures be based on international standards, where they exist, and that they not be prepared, adopted or applied in such a way as to create unnecessary barriers to international trade. Municipalities can provide financial assistance to support local producers and service providers or attract investment.
Tax benefits are a common form of financial assistance from municipalities. The applicability of certain trade agreements depends on whether the aid relates to goods, services or investments. When assessing the vulnerability of a municipal programme that provides financial assistance to producers of products to possible trade measures under the ETMS, competent authorities should take into account whether the programme provides for some form of financial contribution in accordance with Article 1.1(a)(1) of the IGMS; (ii) that financial contribution confers a benefit on the beneficiary; (iii) the granting of the subsidy is conditional on the performance of the export or use of domestic and non-imported goods; (iv) the subsidy may or will be received from only one undertaking, sector or group of undertakings or sectors, instead of being available to all undertakings in the municipality; (v) the subsidized Canadian products could cause financial harm to foreign producers of like products, either in the Canadian market or in the foreign market. The ASCM disciplines subsidies to producers of goods, but not subsidies to service providers. A municipality enters into a franchise agreement with a U.S. natural gas supplier. The agreement gives the supplier an exclusive 21-year right to provide natural gas services within municipal borders. No other supplier, including the municipality itself, can therefore enter the market during this period.
The agreement requires the U.S. supplier to use Canadian natural gas. Once the agreement is final and translated if necessary, authorization to sign the agreement is obtained. The management of the situation against the United Mexican States concerned a municipal measure concerning a concession contract between a United States company and the city of Acapulco for the provision of waste management services. The conclusions of the Court of Justice that Chapter 11 is neither the forum for the settlement of contractual disputes nor the elimination of normal commercial risks are of particular interest to the municipalities. Moreover, the mere loss of benefits or expectations does not in itself constitute expropriation. This is consistent with a much older decision in Chapter 11, Azinian v. . .