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EU Parliament Agrees New Anti-Dumping Rules

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

16 November 2017

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have voted in favor of new rules on dumped and subsidized goods from outside the European Union.

Dumping occurs when good are sold into a foreign market at below the prevailing market rate in the exporter's domestic market. Countries can respond by levying taxes on imports to prevent unfair competition for their domestic producers, known as anti-dumping duties. To counteract unfair subsidies, countries may also introduce countervailing duties.

A statement from the European Parliament said: "EU jobs and firms have real difficulty in competing with cut-price imports from third countries that have excess production capacity and subsidized economies." The new rules will "enable the EU to respond to such unfair trade practices by targeting imports where prices are not market-based, due to state interference," it said.

Last month, Parliament endorsed an informal agreement on the new rules, reached by MEPs and European Council negotiators.

Under such, a single methodology will be used for calculating dumping margins for imports from third countries in the case of significant market distortions or evidence of state influence on the economy. The EU will use the same anti-dumping methodology for all WTO members.

Several criteria will be considered in determining distortions, including state policies and influence, the widespread presence of state-owned enterprises, discrimination in favor of domestic companies, and a lack of independence in the financial sector. Respect of international labor and environmental standards in the manufacture of products will also be taken into account.

The Commission will monitor circumstances in exporting countries, and EU firms may rely upon the Commission's reports when lodging complaints. There will be no additional burden of proof on EU companies in anti-dumping cases, on top of the current procedure, and SMEs will be given help when dealing with the necessary procedures.

International Trade Committee Chair Bernd Lange said: "We have made our trade defense stronger and ensured that for the first time worldwide trade defense legislation takes account of respect for labor and environmental standards. We've given our industries a future-proof system to effectively protect themselves from unfair practices."

The new rules will enter into force once they have been formally approved by the European Council.

MEPs are also negotiating further plans to update the EU's trade defense instruments, with a view to raising tariffs against dumped or subsidized imports from countries that do not interfere extensively in the economy.

TAGS: environment | tax | European Commission | tariffs | anti-dumping | legislation | import duty | standards | trade | European Union (EU) | Europe

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