European Parliament
30 May 2018

Reform of Europe's trade defence instruments to counter unfairly cheap imports

The Government welcomes the European Parliament's adoption of the agreement reached with Member States, on the reform aimed at more effectively clamping down on unfairly cheap imports and environmental and social dumping. Following the entry into force of the new anti-dumping methodology in December 2017, this new reform bolsters the trade defence arsenal in place to protect European industries from unfair trade practices.

This reform will make it possible to:

  • Set higher tariffs on dumped and subsidised imports when this is justified by major distortions of competition.
  • Shorten investigation times.
  • Keep European importers better informed.
The reform is a tangible sign of a "protective Europe", a Europe that is capable of defending its interests against the unfair trade practices of certain third countries, at a time when trade tensions are running high.

France lobbied hard among the Member States at the Council for the talks on this reform to get back under way, on the basis of a Franco-German proposal, and for the debates to make decisive progress so that our trade defence system can be consolidated. It is now calling for a complete and ambitious roll-out of this reform, for the benefit of European industry and jobs.

Whilst France is generally in favour of a dynamic trade policy, it urges the EU to defend its interests in the face of unfair practices and to ensure a level playing field, within the context of the international regulations and multilateralism: this is essential for both economic and political reasons. Protecting our businesses and jobs when up against competitors who do not play by the rules is an essential mission of the European Commission, which France is calling to be strengthened. It is in this mindset that France has recommended the appointment of a "chief trade enforcer", responsible for ensuring compliance with the rules and the effective application of sanctioning mechanisms against unfair practices – this is instrumental in ensuring a level playing field.


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