Brussels, Wednesday 9 November 2016 - Following today’s publication of the European Commission’s changes to the EU anti-dumping legislation - designed to render China’s demand for Market Economy Status ‘irrelevant’ - Europe’s manufacturing industries have reacted with a firm warning that the proposal is neither robust nor future-proof.
AEGIS Europe, an alliance of 30 European manufacturing industries, warned that the European Commission proposal has fallen far short of expectations, creating instead legal uncertainty and threatening jobs and investments in EU manufacturing.
“Instead of improving efficiency and ensuring effectiveness of EU anti-dumping measures, the Commission’s new proposal makes European industries even more vulnerable,” pointed out Milan Nitzschke, spokesman for AEGIS Europe.
The Commission's proposal for a new ‘non-standard methodology’ shifts away from the well-established calculation method presently used by the EU. This framework, which continues to be used by the US and other major WTO members, creates a clear distinction between Non-Market Economies and Market Economies.
“The new EU approach introduces the novel concept of ‘significant distortions’ and completely abandons the all-important link to the EU’s five long-standing Market Economy criteria, which substantially weakens the basis for EU Anti-Dumping measures,” explained Mr Nitzschke.
The Commission has also chosen to shift the burden of proof in Anti-Dumping cases involving WTO member Non-Market Economies to the EU, creating a greater workload and additional insecurity for European companies.
“China considers itself to be an economy in transition. Obviously, it should be up to China to prove the progress it has made towards establishing Market Economy commercial conditions, rather than European complainants or the EU institutions," pointed out Mr Nitzschke.
It is crucial that the EU’s new methodology takes into account the remaining provisions in China's WTO Accession Protocol, including the clear legal distinctions deriving from the EU’s Market Economy criteria, with the burden of proof firmly on Chinese producers.
“Any new non-standard methodology must be linked to the long-established five Market Economy criteria of the EU otherwise it will be susceptible to challenge,“ emphasised Mr Nitzschke. “Without the five criteria, the Commission's assertion that it acts to defend European jobs against Chinese dumping becomes meaningless,” he added.
AEGIS Europe called for intervention from the European Parliament and Member States. “It is essential that policy-makers commit themselves to improving the Commission’s proposal so that it strengthens the legal basis for Anti-Dumping measures. The European Parliament has already signalled its support for ensuring that China is prevented from dumping in the EU. If insufficient action is taken we risk losing millions of jobs and billions of euros in manufacturing investment," concluded Mr Nitzschke
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