Report on EU trade defence – effective protection against unfair trade



The Juncker Commission has strengthened Europe's trade defence toolbox through two major reforms. Since 2014, it has also applied 95 measures to ensure that European companies and workers can compete on fair terms. Two-thirds of all the 135 measures in place concern imports from China.

In 2018 the EU completed the biggest overhaul of its anti-dumping and anti-subsidy legislation since 1994. The reform strengthened the EU's defences against dumped and subsidised imports. Against this background, the EU continued its intense activity and finalised a high number of investigations resulting in new protection measures, in particular in the steel sector. The year 2018 was also notable in that the EU imposed three safeguard measures, the first since 2002.

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said: "We are open traders, but we cannot afford to be naïve. Not all of our trade partners want to play by the same rules that we do – we must not be taken advantage of and must protect the EU, its companies and its workers against unfair trading practices. Our intense work in this field in the past few years bears fruit: we have now in place tools that are better-suited for today's global economy and we will continue working to ensure our companies and workers are shielded from any unfair practices."

Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: "Open economies need effective tools to enforce fair competition, especially at a time where some countries don't want to play by the rules. This report shows that our trade defence team is working harder than ever to safeguard jobs and protect the EU from unfair trade practices around the world. Thanks to our recent reforms, we are able to act quicker and our tools are more suited to the current global economic challenges."

According to today's report, since the beginning of the mandate of the Juncker Commission in November 2014 until December 2018, the Commission has imposed 95 trade defence measures. At the end of 2018, the EU had 93 definitive anti-dumping measures and 12 anti-subsidy measures in place. Almost 44% of them were measures applying to imported steel products. Of all the measures in force, over two-thirds (68%) concern products imported from China.

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