Anti-dumping methodology: Council agrees negotiating position

Council of the EU
  • 03/05/2017
  • 14:22
  • Press release
  • 231/17
  • International trade & customs
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Maria Tomasik
Press officer
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On 3 May 2017, EU ambassadors approved the Council's position on a new, country-neutral methodology for assessing market distortions in third countries. They asked the presidency to open  negotiations with the European Parliament. 

The main objective is to detect and redress distortions to the market resulting from state intervention in other countries. The new methodology for calculating dumping is based on rules  established by the WTO anti-dumping agreement.

Today we gave our support to a new, non-discriminatory anti-dumping methodology that will help ensure that imported products are sold at a fair and equitable price in the EU, no matter where they come from. This will strengthen Europe's trade defence instruments and will help protect jobs and enhance competitiveness."

 Christian Cardona, the minister for the economy, investment and small business of Malta

The Council's position adopted today reflects to a large extent the main principles put forward by the Commission in its proposal presented in November 2016. It establishes a non-exhaustive list of examples which are used to identify significant market distortions, such as: 

  • state policies and influence,
  • widespread presence of state-owned enterprises,
  • discrimination in favour of domestic companies,
  • lack of independence of the financial sector,
  • inadequate enforcement of bankruptcy, corporate or property laws.

When a significant distortion is recognised in an exporting country, the Commission will be able to correct it. It will set a price for the product by referring either to the costs of production and sale prices in a country with similar levels of economic development or to appropriate undistorted international costs and prices. 

The Commission will also draft specific reports on countries or sectors describing distortions. In line with current practice, it will be for EU firms to file complaints, but they will be able to use the Commission's reports to support their case. 

Timeline and next steps 

The new anti-dumping methodology runs in parallel with  a separate  negotiating process on the broader revision of the EU's trade defence instruments which was proposed in 2013. Following the European Council's call in October 2016 for unfair trade practices to be tackled in an efficient and robust way, the Council has worked on both files as a matter of priority by establishing its position in order to bring about a rapid conclusion to the negotiations.

As the proposal is subject to an ordinary legislative procedure, the Council and the European Parliament need to reach agreement on a final text. The Council will be able to begin "trilogue" discussions with the European Parliament on the basis of today's agreement  as soon as the Parliament determines its own negotiating position.