Subsidies, Competition and Trade





Read the background note


The number of subsidy measures implemented worldwide has in the recent years been steadily increasing. This may be a result of several factors, including recent developments that have required, and will continue to require, government intervention, such as the COVID-19 recovery, climate change, fragile and disrupted global value chains and the digital transformation. It is well documented that many subsidies influence competition and trade. They frequently distort the level playing field by changing market signals, resulting in inefficiencies, prices distortions and altered incentives. They also undercut support for open trade and can create global trade tensions due to sharp differences over how to deal with them.

One could therefore expect subsidies to be subject to the intense scrutiny of governments worldwide. This is however not the case, as the most important examples of controls on subsidies arise in international treaties (including the EU and WTO).

Against this background, in December 2022 the Global Forum on Competition held a roundtable discussion on the extent to which, and how, subsidies should be part of the competition analysis of competition authorities. Questions included:

  • To what extent are subsidies currently incorporated by competition authorities in competition analysis?
  • Should subsidies be incorporated (more or differently) into the competition analysis, and if so, why and how?
  • What theories of harm may apply to subsidies, and what is the economic basis for these theories?
  • What analytical techniques can be used to assess these theories, and what types of evidence are needed to use them?
This page contains all related documentation.

Back to the Global Forum home page 

See the full list of best practice roundtables on competition


FORUM 2022

Programme 2022  

Photo album

Global Forum home page 

The Goals of Competition Policy (Opent o all)

Remedies and Commitments in Abuse Cases

Interactions between competition authorities and sector regulators  


Anabel González Bio  
Deputy Director-General

Alicia García-Herrero Bio  
Senior Fellow

Miguel de la Mano Bio 
RBB Economics



Background note

Call for contributions


Contributions from delegations



Dominican Republic





Alicia García-Herrero and the linkages between trade and industrial policies


Anabel González on subsidies, competition and trade



OECD background paper

Related links

Trade, development and competition, Global Forum on Competition 2021

The Promotion of Competitive Neutrality by Competition Authorities, Global Forum on Competition 2021

The role of competition policy in promoting economic recovery, Global Forum on Competition 2020 and OECD Competition Open Day 2021

Competition provisions in trade agreements, Global Forum on Competition 2019

Regional Competition Agreements: Benefits And Challenges, Global Forum on Competition 2018

Competition Law and SOEs, Global Forum on Competition 2018

Competition, State Aids and Subsidies, Global Forum on Competition 2010

Competition Policy, Industrial Policy and National Champions, Global Forum on Competition 2009

Competition Policy in Subsidies and State Aid, Best practice roundtables, 2001

OECD Competition Youtube channel

Competition policy responses to COVID-19, 2020

Global Forum website

Full list of Competition Policy Roundtables 


Related Documents