I know you explained this better and simpler than I try, but I'm still posting. I thought I had answer, even if you say it better. :)
Blue, you stated:
"Sunny, sorry if you don’t like the definition. I didn’t invent the English language, what can I say?
WTO definition: http://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/24-scm_01_e.htm
It is not your invention of the English language I question, it is your use. For a definition of a word in English, one usually does not cite a treaty. Usually one cite a dictionary. But even using your cite of the World Trade Orgnization document, it proves my point. Business expense deductions are NOT subsidies. I print the relevant section of your link. ( please note this is a definition " for the purpose of this Agreement" and part (a)(1)(ii).
Article 1: Definition of a Subsidy
1.1 For the purpose of this Agreement, a subsidy shall be deemed to exist if:
(a)(1) there is a financial contribution by a government or any public body within the territory of a Member (referred to in this Agreement as “government”), i.e. where:
(i) a government practice involves a direct transfer of funds (e.g. grants, loans, and equity infusion), potential direct transfers of funds or liabilities (e.g. loan guarantees);
(ii) government revenue that is otherwise due is foregone or not collected (e.g. fiscal incentives such as tax credits)(1);
(iii) a government provides goods or services other than general infrastructure, or purchases goods;
(iv) a government makes payments to a funding mechanism, or entrusts or directs a private body to carry out one or more of the type of functions illustrated in (i) to (iii) above which would normally be vested in the government and the practice, in no real sense, differs from practices normally followed by governments;o
A business expense deduction is NOT revenue otherwise due to the government.
Let's look at the difference between tax deductions and tax credits.
No income tax. Gross income $200, business expence (deductions) $100, net income $100. Govt. gets $0. You keep $100
25% income tax gross $200, deductions $100, net income $100. Govt. gets $25, you keep $75
25% income tax gross $200, deductions $50, tax credit expenditure $50 to Company Green (Note same $100 spent by buisness), net income $150, Tax bill is now $37.50, but the tax credit says you have already paid $50 in tax. So you get the $100 in your pocket plus the government says you have paid $50 in tax, but owed only $37.50. So they give you $12.50. You now have $112.50 in your pocket, Company Green has $50 in revenue, and the govt has spent $12.50 from treasury.
Tax credits = subsidy
Tax deductions do not.
"If the Feds were to allow me to deduct a rental or any capital improvements in 1 year vs your 27.5 years (say because I live in the Rust Belt), you would not call that a government economic assistance to me?"
Folks need to quit thinking that the government not taking is somehow the same as the government giving. It is not. Is the above fair? No, but it is not a subsidy, it is a tax break.