The European Parliament gave the green light on Wednesday (5 July) to begin negotiations with national governments on new EU anti-dumping rules designed to better protect EU industry and jobs.
The new rules on the calculation of import duties respond to the controversy around China’s market economy status and to unfair trade practices from non-EU countries with a heavy state interference in the economy.
The move is part of a larger effort to upgrade the EU’s trade remedy toolkit, particularly given newer challenges that have emerged on the global stage such as industrial overcapacity. Indeed, the process has particularly drawn the attention of industry groups, including in steel, given the growing number of trade remedy investigations involving the product.
“Today we gave our support to a new, non-discriminatory anti-dumping methodology that will help ensure that imported products are sold at a fair and equitable price in the EU, no matter where they come from. This will strengthen Europe’s trade defense instruments and will protect jobs and enhance competitiveness,” said Christian Cardona, minister of economy, investment, and small business in Malta.
The step aims to “detect and redress distortions to the market resulting from state intervention in other countries,” while still adhering to international obligations, including at the WTO, according to a statement issued by the EU Council.
The assembly set clear red lines for negotiations with EU ministers and the Commission.
“Anti‑dumping investigations need to take into account the exporting country’s compliance with international labor, fiscal and environmental international standards, potential discriminatory measures against foreign investments, effective company law, property rights and the tax and bankruptcy regime,” said MEPs in the negotiating mandate.
Lawmakers also requested that the EU executive issue a detailed report describing the specific situation in a certain country or sector for which the calculation of duties will be applied.
As here was no objection during the July Strasbourg plenary, Parliament will start talks with EU ministers based on this mandate on Wednesday, 12 July.
EU jobs and businesses have been under immense pressure due to China’s excess production capacity and subsidized economy, especially in the steel sector. MEPs urged the Commission to counter unfair competition from China in a way that complies with WTO rules in a resolution in May 2016.