Loones: The EU must better protect industry from unfair competition
The European Parliament’s committee on International Trade committee today voted through legislation to combat unfair international competition, in particular responding to the issue of China’s market economy and other unfair trade practices from third countries. The news laws would provide a more effective method of calculating trade dumping. Antidumping duties should no longer be imposed according to a “market economy status”, but on the basis of “significant market distortion” identified in detailed reports by the European Commission describing the specific situation in a certain country or sector for which the calculation of duties will be applied.
“Open and free trade is the ECR Group main priority, but free trade can only be guaranteed if that trade is also fair and correct,” said Sander Loones, Flemish ECR MEP who took part in the preparation of the new measures.
Mr Loones continued: “We see that imported products are not always sold at a fair price on our European market. Producers also face unfair competition due to the dumping of, for example, cheap Chinese steel or ceramics. We strive for good trade relations with our trading partners.
“We can’t close ourselves from the world, it would hurt us and our economies. At the same time, it is equally naive to think that everyone respects the rules of the game. In Europe we make great efforts to be competitive and create jobs. Such a policy can only be successful if the European Union at the same time strengthens and tightens trade defence instruments.
“We must therefore look for the right balance, no trade walls around Europe, but also not being naive. China’s accession to the World Trade Organization increases the urgency of European trade measures. Let´s be very clear: China is not a market economy and it´s heavily subsidized economy is not always producing at market prices.
New legislation is needed to cope with unfair business practices and to maintain an open and robust European market with an equal playing field for all. We must live up to the concerns that many European citizens and the industry have. Europe needs a quick and clear answer in order to strengthen the necessary support for free trade. Fair free trade will provide us with jobs and prosperity. Together with the Commission and the Council we must aim now for smooth negotiations. EU needs to be responsible, ambitious and realistic in order to achieve efficient and balanced ‘trade defence instruments’ securing protection and legal certainty for our industries.