Background

European Union trade defense measures are effective in reducing unfair trading practices, according to the EU’s annual report on the use of such measures for and against its goods. Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan said he was pleased that “the reforms of the last years are paying off” and noted that effective trade defense measures “will be even more crucial in the times of post-corona crisis recovery.”

Highlights of the EU’s 2019 report include the following.

- At the end of 2019 the EU had 121 AD measures (up from 93), 16 CV measures (up from 12), and three safeguard measures in place and 43 investigations underway (down from 45). More than 40 percent of the measures in place apply to steel products.

- In 2019 the EU initiated 16 new investigations (up from 10 in 2018), imposed 12 new measures (up from six), and concluded 18 expiry reviews (up from seven).

- EU trade defense measures result in an average 80 percent reduction in injurious imports.

- The EU self-initiated a record four investigations of AD/CV duty circumvention.

- The number of foreign trade defense measures targeting EU exporters rose from 174 to 175. The U.S. accounted for the largest share with 36 measures in force (up from 33), followed by China (20, up from 18) and India (18, down from 21).

- The number of new foreign trade defense investigations involving EU exporters increased from 35 to 37, including seven by India, four each by Indonesia and Madagascar, and three by Ukraine. Steel was the sector most targeted (9), followed by chemicals (8) and the agricultural sector (7).

- The U.S. imposed four new measures against the EU in 2019, followed by Australia and Morocco with three, the Gulf Cooperation Council with two, and China with one.

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