EU Reports Sharp Increase in Trade Defense Actions Against its Exports
The European Commission released June 4 a report showing a significant increase in trade defense measures, especially antidumping duties, against EU exports in 2013. The report also highlights instances in which the Commission helped avoid the imposition of such measures or minimized their negative effects on EU exports.
The report finds a total of 152 measures in force against the EU or its member states as of Dec. 31, 2013, up 14 from the previous year (the net of 27 new measures imposed and 13 terminated). The Commission states that this number had declined from 2005 to 2009 but has been constantly rising since (aside from 2012) and is now back at its 2005 level. India remained the most prolific user of trade defense against the EU or its members with 19 measures in place, followed by China with 18, the U.S. with 17 and Brazil with 11. A total of 43 new investigations involving EU exports were initiated in 2013, including seven by India; four each by China and Colombia; three each by Australia, Brazil and South Africa; and two each by the U.S., Turkey, Morocco and the Philippines.
The report also highlights several problems of a systemic nature. These include “the retaliatory nature of some Chinese investigations,” the high number of newly initiated safeguard cases (because initiation itself can have a negative impact on normal trade flows), the initiation of parallel AD and CV investigations on the same product, and the extension of the application of safeguard measures to the maximum period allowed under WTO rules.
The Commission’s main achievements in 2013 with respect to safeguarding the rights of EU exporters and the proper use of trade defense instruments involve the repeal of an AD duty and CV duty measure imposed by China as a result of successful proceedings at the World Trade Organization. Commission action also contributed to the termination of several investigations without measures being imposed or the level of the measures being significantly reduced.