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Parliamentary questions
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5 October 2020
Question for written answer E-005427/2020
to the Commission
Rule 138
Hilde Vautmans (Renew)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Trade defence instruments

The modernisation of trade defence instruments (TDIs), and in particular the lifting of the lesser duty rule in the case of raw material distortions, was a major legislative step forward for the effectiveness of the EU trade toolbox, even if it is not as ambitious as envisaged by the European Parliament. In a recent trade case on steel, the lesser duty rule was not lifted by the Commission in response to significant raw material distortions because of the risk that one steel user would lose business and profit.

Where does the Commission stand in practice with regard to the clear political and legislative commitment to strengthen the EU TDIs?

When it comes to the World Trade Organization reform, strengthening international subsidy disciplines is crucial, but this goal must be leveraged. The White Paper on Foreign Subsidies can provide such leverage, but it will take time before it can be enacted.

Since timing is of the essence, what leverage could the EU develop in the short term, knowing that countries like China and India will not automatically take part in multilateral reform negotiations?

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