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Modernising trade defence instruments

03-07-2018

Trade defence instruments (TDIs) play a vital role in countering unfair trade practices from third countries and in levelling the playing field for EU companies, notably in times of mounting global overcapacity in a number of sectors. In April 2013, the Commission adopted a proposal to modernise the EU's basic Anti dumping and Anti-subsidy (AD/AS) Regulations. The reform was intended to enhance the transparency and predictability of investigations and increase the effectiveness and enforcement of ...

Trade defence instruments (TDIs) play a vital role in countering unfair trade practices from third countries and in levelling the playing field for EU companies, notably in times of mounting global overcapacity in a number of sectors. In April 2013, the Commission adopted a proposal to modernise the EU's basic Anti dumping and Anti-subsidy (AD/AS) Regulations. The reform was intended to enhance the transparency and predictability of investigations and increase the effectiveness and enforcement of AD/AS measures. Parliament adopted its position on the proposal in 2014, but the procedure was deadlocked in the Council until November 2016. Following interinstitutional negotiations, a political agreement was achieved in December 2017. After the Council’s adoption of its first-reading position in April 2018, the text was formally adopted by Parliament in May 2018. In 2016, the legislative procedure on the reform of the methodology for calculating AD duties was launched as a second pillar of the TDI reform. See also our 'EU Legislation in progress' briefing on that proposal: Protection from dumped and subsidised imports. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Human rights in EU trade policy: Unilateral measures applied by the EU

30-05-2018

Protection of human rights is one of the EU's overarching objectives in its external action, in line with the Treaty on European Union. One of the EU's main tools to promote human rights in third countries is the generalised system of preferences (GSP), granting certain developing countries preferential trade access to the EU market. Covering 90 third countries, the scheme includes explicit human rights conditionality, providing that preferences can be withdrawn in case of massive and systematic ...

Protection of human rights is one of the EU's overarching objectives in its external action, in line with the Treaty on European Union. One of the EU's main tools to promote human rights in third countries is the generalised system of preferences (GSP), granting certain developing countries preferential trade access to the EU market. Covering 90 third countries, the scheme includes explicit human rights conditionality, providing that preferences can be withdrawn in case of massive and systematic violations of core human rights or labour rights norms. A special incentive arrangement under the GSP grants further tariff concessions to countries that ratify and implement a series of international conventions. Based on systematic monitoring by the European Commission, this special scheme is the most comprehensive and detailed human rights mechanism established in the framework of the common commercial policy. While the scheme has been particularly effective in encouraging beneficiary countries to make the necessary legislative and institutional changes, such progress has not been matched at the level of implementation. Suspension of preferences under GSP has been applied in only a few cases and, when it was, did not have an immediate and clear impact on the human rights situation. In practice, the EU has privileged a strategy of incentivising gradual progress through dialogue and monitoring, rather than withdrawing preferences. The EU's unilateral trade measures to protect human rights are not limited to the GSP. The EU has taken steps to prohibit or limit trade in items that could cause human rights violations, such as torture and execution equipment, and dual use goods. New legislation has recently been adopted on conflict minerals, and the European Parliament has called for a proposal for legislation to ban the import of goods produced using child labour. This is an updated edition of a briefing published in January 2017: PE 595.878.

Protection from dumped and subsidised imports

15-02-2018

On 9 November 2016, the European Commission published a proposal for targeted changes to the EU anti-dumping and anti-subsidy regulations. The proposal was a response to the expiry of parts of China’s WTO accession protocol in December 2016 and to unfair trade practices from third countries. At the core of the amendments of the anti-dumping regulation was the use for WTO members of prices derived from constructed values in situations where there are ‘substantial market distortions’ in the country ...

On 9 November 2016, the European Commission published a proposal for targeted changes to the EU anti-dumping and anti-subsidy regulations. The proposal was a response to the expiry of parts of China’s WTO accession protocol in December 2016 and to unfair trade practices from third countries. At the core of the amendments of the anti-dumping regulation was the use for WTO members of prices derived from constructed values in situations where there are ‘substantial market distortions’ in the country of export under investigation. This approach replaces the ‘analogue country methodology’ which was previously applied to non-market economies (NMEs) under EU law and remains in place for non-WTO members. The amendments to the anti-subsidy regulation insert due process and transparency provisions required to capture subsidies identified only in the course of anti-subsidy probes. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Protection from dumped and subsidised imports

08-11-2017

Dumping and subsidising of exports by third countries are unfair trade practices, which may cause injury to the importing country. WTO law allows countering such injury by introducing specific duties called trade defence instruments (TDI). To enable EU TDIs to address current circumstances, notably overcapacity, in the international trading environment, the European Commission has proposed to amend the Anti-Dumping (AD) Regulation and Anti-Subsidy (AS) Regulation. The European Parliament is due to ...

Dumping and subsidising of exports by third countries are unfair trade practices, which may cause injury to the importing country. WTO law allows countering such injury by introducing specific duties called trade defence instruments (TDI). To enable EU TDIs to address current circumstances, notably overcapacity, in the international trading environment, the European Commission has proposed to amend the Anti-Dumping (AD) Regulation and Anti-Subsidy (AS) Regulation. The European Parliament is due to vote on the provisional agreement reached in trilogue during its November plenary session.

Fish labelling for consumers

12-10-2017

Since the end of 2014, consumers in the European Union (EU) have had access to better information when buying fishery and aquaculture products. Mandatory labels or markings for retail sale of seafood (including some types of processed seafood) must, in particular, include information on both the commercial and the scientific names of the species, whether it has been fished or farmed, the catch area or country of production, and the fishing gear used.

Since the end of 2014, consumers in the European Union (EU) have had access to better information when buying fishery and aquaculture products. Mandatory labels or markings for retail sale of seafood (including some types of processed seafood) must, in particular, include information on both the commercial and the scientific names of the species, whether it has been fished or farmed, the catch area or country of production, and the fishing gear used.

Revision of the calculation methodology of dumping

28-02-2017

The IA appears to provide a well-researched explanation of the evidence base for the legislative proposal; it clearly explains the scale of the problem, illustrated by facts and figures giving a clear view of the international situation. However, a better, more coherent organisation of the data related to the problem definition, and a broader range of options, would have strengthened the IA. Option 3 is the only viable one to address all the objectives, although – as also indicated by stakeholders ...

The IA appears to provide a well-researched explanation of the evidence base for the legislative proposal; it clearly explains the scale of the problem, illustrated by facts and figures giving a clear view of the international situation. However, a better, more coherent organisation of the data related to the problem definition, and a broader range of options, would have strengthened the IA. Option 3 is the only viable one to address all the objectives, although – as also indicated by stakeholders – its elements are only vaguely presented. The IA would have been more persuasive had it been clearer about the modification of the standard methodology. In particular, it would have benefited from a better explanation as to how it would work in practice, in order to allow the EU to continue to disregard domestic costs and prices of China and other NME countries, as this appears to be the most crucial element of the preferred option. The IA does not look at the impact on the economic performance of the EU sectors concerned, and remains unclear as to how EU SMEs would be affected. The stakeholder consultation covered a broad range of stakeholders and the collected views are presented systematically throughout the IA. However, it seems that stakeholders were not given the opportunity to comment in detail on the preferred option 3. The consultation seems to have happened at an early stage in the drafting process of the IA, which could explain the vague questions asked and the shortened period of consultation of 10 weeks instead of 12.

Impacts of the CETA Agreement on Developing Countries

16-02-2017

With the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) negotiations concluded and subsequently signed by both parties, the European Union and Canada’s most progressive trade agreement to date is set to provisionally enter into force soon. However, as developed countries move to negotiate preferential trade agreements between themselves (like the CETA), extending beyond current multilateral trade obligations, the improved market access, trade harmonisation and cross-cutting issues included in ...

With the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) negotiations concluded and subsequently signed by both parties, the European Union and Canada’s most progressive trade agreement to date is set to provisionally enter into force soon. However, as developed countries move to negotiate preferential trade agreements between themselves (like the CETA), extending beyond current multilateral trade obligations, the improved market access, trade harmonisation and cross-cutting issues included in the agreements can have a much wider impact, affecting countries not party to them. As far as CETA is concerned, in our judgement those impacts are likely to be relatively small, and confined to a small group of vulnerable states, especially those with concentrated export structures, and notably of primary products in direct competition with Canadian exports to the EU. However, given the limitations of this paper the conclusion is fairly speculative, and so a key recommendation is that more detailed analysis of potentially vulnerable exporters be conducted to narrow down a subsequent mitigation strategy. That mitigation strategy mainly revolves around the impact of non-tariff measures (NTMs), focusing on product standards, and Rules of Origin. Essentially the focus needs to be on a targeted development assistance package referencing the need to upgrade product standards capacities in vulnerable states, in order to maximise the potential of trade to contribute to economic growth and, thereby, poverty reduction.

Autor extern

Peter Draper