We want to protect European jobs and industries against dumped imports, say S&Ds

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Brussels, 23 January 2018

The European Parliament’s international trade committee today adopted a deal struck between Euro MPs and EU ministers in December of last year on combatting unfair cheap imports. Under the informal agreement, higher tariffs can be imposed against dumped or subsidised imports from non EU-countries to better protect European jobs and industries.

Euro MPs also ensured that investigations into anti-dumping cases would be shorter and more transparent; an SMEs help-desk will deal with complaints and investigative proceedings; trade unions will be involved in these investigations and also in assessing duties. The Socialists and Democrats especially pushed for, and obtained that, costs linked to companies’ compliance with the EU’s high environmental and labour standards will be taken into account when calculating anti-dumping duties; as well as including continental shelves and economic exclusive zones in the regulation to close existing loopholes.

David Martin, S&D MEP and negotiator on the protection against dumped imports, said:
 
”The deal struck between the European Parliament and member states on the protection against dumped imports is not perfect, but the new rules will be better than what we have in place now and are the best we could get from an obstructive Council. The new trade defence instruments merit our cautious welcome.
 
“For the first time, social and environmental standards will be taken into consideration when determining if dumping has taken place. This is a big step forward towards a more progressive trade policy. On the downside, the overall package does not equip the EU with all the tools needed to forcefully tackle dumping from China and others. The EU must show more ambition if we want to effectively protect European jobs and industries. Nevertheless, with the new rules, the EU will be much better prepared to fight unfair trading practices than a post-Brexit UK will be.”

Alessia Mosca, S&D MEP and spokesperson on trade, added:
 
“After almost five years of negotiations, the European Parliament finally managed to overcome the resistance of the Council against modernising the EU’s protection against dumped and subsidised imports. The EU’s credibility was at stake here. European workers and businesses, threatened by delocalisation and unfair competition, have been waiting for this long overdue reform that will strengthen our trade defence instruments against unfair practices.
 
“Following the adoption of the new methodology for calculating dumping, the reform of the EU’s trade defence instruments is another big step forward towards a more sustainable trade system. We Socialists and Democrats led the drive for including labour and environmental criteria in the new rules and scored a historic victory. For the first time, the costs companies carry as a result of complying with the EU’s high environmental and labour standards will be taken into account when calculating anti-dumping duties. Our group’s support for free trade is conditioned by our values
 
“By being the first international player to adopt such progressive rules, the European Union once again sends a strong message to the international community: Our trade policy is anchored in the respect for sustainable development.”

 
Note to the editor:
 
The modernisation of the EU’s regulation on dumped and subsidised imports comes as part of a broader up-dating of the EU’s 1995 trade defence law.
The Commission put forward its proposal already in 2013, to which the European Parliament adopted its negotiating mandate already in February 2014, but the Council stalled negotiations for years.
After the approval of the informal agreement in the European Parliament’s international trade committee, the full House along with member states still need to adopt the regulation before it can enter into force.