OECD Study Measures Distortions in International Markets, but not by ECAs

(OECD, Paris, May 2021) This OECD report looks at support governments provide to their industrial producers which they say has been a growing source of trade tensions amid reports of excess capacity and unfair competition. While much light has already been shed on support to agricultural producers and fisheries, the scope and scale of government support in manufacturing remains opaque and poorly documented. The study finds that firms benefit by not being subject to the same market discipline as their competitors, domestic or foreign. However, they note that much of the little academic evidence that exists for OECD countries concerns either the effects of subsidised lending on small and medium-sized enterprises (e.g. from a regional development angle) or export credits. They note that both issues fall outside the scope of the present report. The claim "export credits are in principle subject to the OECD Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits and should therefore reflect market terms and conditions for Participants." A review of the keywords "eca subsidies" on the ECA Watch web site found 97 example documenting the fact that export credits do not reflect "market terms and conditions for Participants", contrary to the claims of the OECD "gentlemans" agreement.