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back to index backEUROtalk November,  2016


New anti-dumping measures against China’s import proposed by Commission

Katainen: Trade is Europe’s best growth lever. But free trade must be fair, and only fair trade can be free”.

The European Commission introduced on Wednesday a proposal for a new method for calculating dumping on imports from countries where there are significant market distortions,” or in other words, how to protect its market from the aggressive invasion of cheaper import products from countries like China.

Dumping occurs when a product is imported to the EU at a lower price than the normal value of the product to cut out a bigger market share and drive out competition.

Today we are presenting a proposal to adapt our trade defense instruments to deal with the new realities of over-capacity and a changing international legal framework” said Jyrki Katainen, the Commission Vice-President, on Wednesday.

Katainen’s reference to the changing framework is linked to Chinese accession accords of the WTO that said by the end of 2016 it would automatically grant the Asian country market economy status.

Granting the status to China means that the 28-member bloc would have a more difficult time imposing anti-dumping duties on Chinese goods, mostly comprising from the steel and textile industries.

The proposal is important because it means that the EU is living up to its WTO commitments. This method is country neutral and does not grant ‘market economy status’ to any country,” commented EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, de facto dodging the decision over the status by simply scratching the previous distinction.

Critics and concerns

This new country-neutral legislation will allow anti-dumping investigations on imports to be opened by economies that are considered distorted because of continued state intervention with significant influence on prices.

The new and reviewed version of the dumping rule was on the agenda since the last European Summit in October and is similar to the one that is currently being used by the United States.

However EUROFER, the European Steel association, has expressed some concerns regarding this new non-standard methodology.

We have some reservation about the feasibility of the proposed approach, which in comparison to the US one abandons the established references to non-market economies” commented an EUROFER spokesperson.

The Commission is convinced that the new proposal should be able to protect more than 30 million jobs in Europe and maintain an equivalent level of protection” for EU trade defense, as Commissioner Malmström stressed.

Outside of the Commission building however, some 15,000 steel workers marched to demand concrete actions to protect the sector.

We must secure the future of European steel and this includes safeguarding against the import of steel at dumping prices” commented Luc Triangle, General Secretary of industriAll Europe, in a note.

The criticism over the new measures is shared among other industries in the manufactory sector. Instead of improving efficiency and ensuring effectiveness of EU anti-dumping measures, the Commission’s new proposal makes European industries even more vulnerable,” pointed out Milan Nitzschke, spokesman for AEGIS Europe.

The path to final approval

To become effective, the Commission’s proposal still needs the approval of the 28 member states and has to go through the European Parliament, which seems to be far from convinced.

The Commission has had years in order to tackle this situation, but the proposal presented today does not properly address the requests expressed by our group and it barely touches upon the most important topics of concern” said MEP Alessia Mosca, S&D spokesperson on trade defense mechanisms.

The introduction of the concept of significant distortions – not defined in WTO law -, the discretion left to the Commission services in the preparation of a report describing the situation in a certain country or sector are the most problematic issues” concluded Mosca.

Source: New Europe - GAI





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