In its annual report on the use of trade defense instruments for and against its goods, the European Union states that in 2018 it completed the most significant overhaul of its antidumping and anti-subsidy legislation in nearly 25 years and imposed its first safeguard measures since 2002. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that while the EU favors open trade, “not all of our trade partners want to play by the same rules that we do” and “we must not be taken advantage of.” EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström added that thanks to the 2018 reforms “we are able to act quicker and our tools are more suited to the current global economic challenges."
Highlights of the EU’s 2018 report include the following.
- Since November 2014 the EU has initiated 170 cases and imposed 95 AD/CV measures. Of the latter, 35 are new (25 of which cover steel products) and 60 are renewals or extensions.
- From November 2014 to November 2018 the EU collected more than €1.5 billion in AD/CV duties.
- At the end of 2018 the EU had 93 AD measures and 12 CV measures in place, down slightly from 2017, and 45 investigations underway. Nearly 44 percent of the measures in place apply to steel products and 68 percent concern products from China.
- In 2018 the EU initiated 10 new investigations (four on steel products), took 14 decisions on new measures (including no AD/CV duties in eight), and initiated 17 reviews of existing measures, keeping seven in place.
- The EU initiated three safeguard investigations in 2018: one in the steel sector in response to the additional 25 percent tariff imposed on steel products by the U.S., and two on rice with Cambodia and Myanmar (Burma) under the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences.
- The number of foreign trade defense measures targeting EU exporters rose from 162 to 174 and is expected to continue rising in the next few years. The U.S. accounted for the largest share with 33 measures in force (up from 26), followed by India with 21 (unchanged) and China with 18 (down from 20).
- The number of new and ongoing foreign trade defense investigations involving EU exporters increased from 31 to 35, including four by India and three each by the U.S., Australia, Argentina, and the Gulf Cooperation Council.
- The U.S. imposed ten new measures against the EU in 2018, followed by Australia with four, India and Turkey with three, and China with one.