European industry urgently needs the Council to unblock trade defence reform, say S&Ds
In a growing competitive global trade environment, the European Union is vulnerable to unfairly traded imports. This is why a modernisation of the EU’s trade defence instruments (TDIs) is urgently needed. At a plenary debate in the European Parliament, the Socialists and Democrats have called on the Council to take its responsibility: In 2014 the Parliament already adopted its position on the European Commission’s proposal to update TDIs, but the member states, represented in the EU Council, have not been able to reach an agreement.
S&D spokesperson on trade defence mechanisms, Alessia Mosca MEP, said:
“The serious distortions that are affecting the steel industry, with huge losses in terms of jobs, are an indicator that TDIs need to be strengthened. We therefore call on the Council to rapidly seek an agreement and overcome this important issue.
“While welcoming the renewed attention on TDIs, we must not forget that the Parliament already expressed its position on the matter in 2014, when it rejected the ‘WTO+ approach’* proposed by the Commission.
“The S&D Group is not ready to step back on its refusal of the shipping and pre-disclosure clauses and we reiterate our call for a re-examination of the application of the Lesser Duty Rule, which is not a WTO obligation. Consistently with the re-industrialisation strategy, the TDIs modernisation needs to reinforce the global level playing field without any further concessions on social and environmental dumping.”
S&D spokesperson on international trade, David Martin, said:
“It is essential that the EU has fast and effective trade defence instruments to deal with unfair competition.
“Both the European Parliament and Commission have risen to the challenge with constructive proposals. All eyes are now on the Council to get its act together and deliver us the tools we need to defend our jobs and industry.”
* Note to the editors
The EU’s trade defence instruments (TDIs) go beyond World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and they therefore put us at a competitive disadvantage vis-a-vis our trading partners who stick to the WTO approach. ‘WTO plus’ (WTO+) refers to the commitments building on those already agreed to at the multilateral level.