28 juin 2017: Madame Emma Pamela Ugaz Valenzuela

Madame Emma Pamela Ugaz Valenzuela soutiendra, en vue de l'obtention du grade de docteure en droit, sa thèse intitulée :

« Trade Regulation on State-Trading Enterprises in the Energy Sector : are WTO Disciplines comprehensive enough ? »

Mercredi 28 juin 2017 - 14h.00
Salle 3050 - UNI MAIL

La séance est publique.


State-trading enterprises (STEs) are hybrid entities that operate between the public and private realm, contributing to the implementation of governmental policies while keeping their independent legal personality. The World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement acknowledges the right of WTO Members to participate in international trade through STEs. Nonetheless, the latter could be a device to circumvent WTO commitments.

This thesis examines the application of the existing WTO disciplines to the trade-distortive practices carried out by STEs. The hypothesis confirmed by this thesis is that the WTO legal framework is not adapted to the hybrid nature of STEs. This research focuses on the practices developed in the energy sector (fossil fuels) where the presence of STEs is predominant, providing the perfect stage for a technical and analytical study of the operations of STEs.

Part I sets the stage by describing the important role of STEs in the energy market. Part II provides an answer on how to attribute the activities conducted by STEs to a WTO Member. Part III analyses the treatment granted to STEs’ activities under the WTO Agreement on trade in goods and services. Part IV discusses the main problems arising from applying the existing WTO rules to the activities of STEs. Part V looks at solutions for these problems found in different forums such as the OECD, the Energy Charter Treaty, Regional Trade Agreements and national regulations. Acquiring inspiration from these experiences, the last Part provides WTO Members with recommendations to filling the gaps in the existing WTO legal framework.

This thesis mainly argues that one central problem limiting the application of STE’s disciplines to WTO Members is the challenge involved in attributing the operations of STEs to the WTO Member. Hence, an explicit attribution rule with a general application is necessary. To ensure a comprehensive STEs regulation, this thesis additionally suggests defining the term “STE”, enlarging the scope of STE disciplines to trade in services, fostering the non-discrimination principle and empowering transparency. The WTO has a leading role to play in designing a coherent legal framework for STEs, since it is the only multilateral forum with binding disciplines applicable to countries running STEs and having a strong dispute settlement mechanism.

28 juin 2017