• EU trade defence legislation strengthened
  • No additional burden on EU companies
  • Labour and environmental standards to be taken into account

EU jobs and industry will be better protected against dumping and subsidised imports, under a draft law agreed on Tuesday.

For the first time worldwide, the EU’s trade defence legislation would take account of international labour and environmental standards, under an informal agreement struck by Parliament’s negotiating team and EU ministers in Strasbourg on Tuesday afternoon.

 

The EU is currently updating its antidumping law, to counter unfair trade practices by third countries whose states interfere extensively in the economy.

 

In negotiations, MEPs ensured that:

 

  • for the first time, respect of international labour and environmental standards in the manufacture of products will be taken into consideration when deciding on anti-dumping measures,
  • there will be no additional burden of proof on EU companies in anti‑dumping cases, on top of the current procedure,

 

  • small and medium sized enterprises will get help to deal with procedures,

 

  • the EU Commission is to report in detail on the specific circumstances of exporting countries,  focusing on “significant distortions” of prices and costs, will also give clear guidance on what “distortions” means,  

 

  • all parties involved, particularly trade unions, may give input to decisions on trade defence measures.

 

Quote

 

Rapporteur Salvatore Cicu (EPP, IT) said: “We won’t stand by idly when our market is flooded by products made with unfair trading practices and with many jobs under threat. Every country can benefit from free and fair global trade, but all have to play by the same rules. That is definitely not the case if exporters work in a state-owned system. I am confident that the new method for dealing with countries with significant distortions of the economy will protect our citizens from the harms of globalisation".

International Trade Committee Chair, Bernd Lange (S&D, DE) said: “We ensured that our industries can defend themselves against unfair trading practices, now and in the future. We have ensured that EU companies will not face impossible obstacles in defending themselves against dumping, against tough opposition. As the champions of a rules-based trading order, the WTO-compatibility of our rules was the basis for all discussions.”

 

Next Steps

 

The informal agreement will be put to a vote in the International Trade Committee on 12 October and by the full house at the November plenary session in Strasbourg.

 

Quick facts

 

Under the new rules, the EU would use the same anti‑dumping methodology for all WTO members, and target “significant market distortions”, i.e. where prices are not market-based. Broader plans to update the EU’s “trade defence instruments” with a view to raising tariffs against dumped or subsidised imports are currently being negotiated with EU ministers.

 

Procedure:  Co-decision, first-reading (informal agreement)