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Parliamentary questions
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20 November 2020
Answer given by Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-005427/2020

The major reforms in 2017(1) and 2018(2) have significantly strengthened the EU’s trade defence instruments (TDI) and allowed to use them in a more effective way to address rampant and injurious dumping and subsidisation. The modernised rules were carefully crafted with the aim of ensuring a firm and balanced application of TDI while remaining within the limits of World Trade Organisation (WTO) law(3).

The application of the Lesser Duty Rule (LDR) is a fundamental element enshrined in EU trade defence legislation. The newly strengthened LDR provisions encompass not only its modulation in case of raw materials distortions, but also the accompanying Union interest test, which ensures an effective yet balanced outcome for all market players.

The Commission also applies many other provisions of the strengthened TDI rulebook, notably streamlined procedures making it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to participate in investigations or a shorter timeframe for the imposition of provisional measures.

Since the TDI reform, the Commission has also been applying strengthened provisions, allowing any subsidies revealed during an investigation to be included in any final duties imposed. This is important because foreign governments increasingly provide subsidies in a non-transparent manner.

To be effective, new international subsidy rules will need the support of a critical mass of WTO Members, including the largest subsidisers and notably China. The 12th WTO Ministerial Conference in 2021 will be a high-level political occasion to make progress on this topic, with key WTO Members. In the run up to the Conference, the involvement of a widening group of WTO Members will increase the pressure on the remaining Members to join the initiative.

(1)OJ L 338, 19.12.2017, p. 1.
(2)OJ L 143, 7.6.2018, p. 1.
(3)Since the entry in force of the reform, and until September 2020, the Commission initiated 71 investigations under the new rules — the latter being now firmly enshrined in TDI proceedings.
Last updated: 20 November 2020Legal notice - Privacy policy