BRUSSELS, 19 October 2016 - The European Commission today called on Member States to support its efforts to provide the EU with updated, strengthened and more robust trade defence instruments. Despite the fact that the Commission has been using the available toolbox of trade defence instruments to its full extent, these have proven insufficient to deal with the huge overcapacities that result in dumped exports on the EU market. The EU is and wants to remain the biggest trading bloc in the world; but trade must be based on fair conditions.
President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “Trade is essential for our economic growth and jobs creation, but we should not be naïve. Our current rules are proving insufficient to combat the harm from unfair foreign competition. Some EU industries have lost thousands of jobs. We cannot stay idle. The EU’s trade defence rules require an urgent update.”
The EU accounts for 15% of world imports (second only to the United States), yet the EU’s trade defence measures correspond to only 7.8% of those in place worldwide and affect a mere 0.21% of the imports. When it comes to implementing measures to defend jobs on its territory, no trading bloc exercises a similar level of self-restraint, due to the limitations imposed by the current legislation.
The necessary modernisation of trade defence instruments can be achieved through the swift adoption of the proposal tabled in 2013. In a dedicated Communication entitled ‘Towards a robust trade policy for the EU in the interest of jobs and growth‘, the Commission also outlined how a new anti-dumping methodology which the Commission intends to propose would be used to address situations where market conditions do not prevail, while dealing with forthcoming changes to the legal framework of the World Trade Organisation.