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EU Making Progress On New Anti-Dumping Regulations

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

26 December 2017

Negotiators from the European Council and the European Parliament have given their backing to proposed new trade defense rules that will pave the way for the introduction of higher tariffs on dumped or subsidized imports.

An agreement was reached in the Coreper, which is the Council's main preparatory body, comprising of permanent representatives from the member states.

The proposed new regulation amends the existing basic anti-dumping and anti-subsidies regulations, to enable them to better respond to unfair trade practices. The amendments will:

  • Increase the transparency and predictability of provisional anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures, by introducing a pre-disclosure period of three weeks after the information is made public, in which provisional duties will not yet be applied;
  • Enable investigations to be initiated without an official request from industry, when a threat of retaliation by third countries exists;
  • Enable trade unions to submit complaints together with industry, and allow them to become interested parties in the proceedings;
  • Reduce the investigation period to a normal period of seven months and no more than eight months, with definitive duties to be imposed within 14 months;
  • Enable importers to be reimbursed duties collected during an expiry review in the event of trade defense measures not being maintained;
  • Take into account social and environmental standards when assessing the acceptability of an undertaking and when establishing the injury elimination margin; and
  • Enable the imposition of higher duties to be imposed in cases where there are raw material distortions and these raw materials (including energy) account for more than 17 percent taken individually. This would allow for an adaptation of the level of duties imposed under the "lesser duty rule" if it is in the interest of the EU. The imposition of higher duties will include a target profit set at a minimum of six percent.

Estonia currently holds the Council presidency. Urve Palo, Estonia's minister responsible for trade matters, said: "These new rules on EU trade defense instruments will allow us to better defend Europe's interests. They will protect our companies from unfair competition through increased transparency and predictability."

For the new rules to enter into force, they must now be approved by Parliament and by the European Council. Parliament's Committee on International Trade is expected to vote on the proposals on January 23. It is hoped that the formal adoption process will be complete by mid-2018.

TAGS: environment | energy | tariffs | anti-dumping | Estonia | import duty | standards | regulation | trade | European Union (EU) | Europe

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