10 February 2020. The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has issued a notice updating the list of countries it designates as developing or least-developed under its countervailing duty laws. The WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM) has higher de minimis standards and thresholds determining negligible import volumes for subsidies provided by developing and least developed countries. In other words, subsidies have to be higher in terms of their share in the products value and import volumes have to be greater for a subsidy provided by a developing country to be actionable, compared to developed countries. In the recent decision, the USTR has revised a 1998 list of developing and least-developed countries used to determine the applicable thresholds for a subsidy to be actionable. Based on GNI per capita, share of world trade and other factors including membership of the OECD, the EU or the G20, the USTR, the revision has led to the exclusion from the list of developing countries of a number of countries.
The list of least-developed countries adopted by the United States for these purposes does not coincide with the United Nations category of least developed countries.
For more information: “USTR Updates List of Developing and Least-Developed Countries Under U.S. CVD Law”