EU Trade Ministers: Safeguard European trade defense instruments urge European Manufacturers22 September 2016
by AEGIS Europe -- last modified 22 September 2016
On the eve of the informal meeting of EU Trade Ministers due to take place on 22 and 23 September in Bratislava, AEGIS Europe, an alliance of manufacturing industries, sent a communiqué to Ministers urging them to safeguard European trade defense instruments (TDIs) - and ensure that European manufacturing has a future.
"Any new methodology that is developed by the EU to address dumping by Chinese producers must be sufficiently defined and include a clear link with the EU's five long-established market economy criteria. Without these criteria acting as the bedrock of European trade defense there will be an increased danger of legal uncertainty and consequently a greater risk for investments and manufacturing jobs in Europe," stresses Milan Nitzschke, spokesperson for AEGIS Europe.
So long as China does not follow the rules of international free trade and continues to operate along non-market economy lines, with policy planning that favours distortions and over capacities, the EU must defend itself using proven legal principles. Otherwise the state-planned economy of China would play ping-pong with the EU's market economies.
"The EU's five market economy criteria is an essential tool to fend off predatory Chinese manufacturing practices that are borne of massive overcapacity and state-subsidised dumping in the market. They are unchallenged at WTO level and were already in place when China joined the WTO," points out Mr Nitzschke.
Furthermore, the European Commission's suggestion that it intends to shift the burden of proof during an investigation must not result in an increased burden for complainants. Otherwise, there would be a real risk that European industries, and particularly SMEs, will not be able to bring forward complaints against dumped imports from China.
"China is claiming to be an economy in transition. Logically it is for China to prove that it fulfills market economy criteria and eliminates market distortions, not the other way around," states Mr Nitzschke.
"The European manufacturing sector provides jobs and livelihoods for millions of citizens in Europe across a diverse range of sectors from A to Z, aluminium, bicycles, ceramics, glass fibre, solar and many more. We urge Trade Ministers to be vigilant and stand up to state-subsidised dumping," concludes Mr Nitzschke.
AEGIS Europe brings together nearly 30 European associations representing a broad variety of industries including traditional industries, consumer branches, SMEs and renewable energy sectors, accounting for more than €500 billion in annual turnover and millions of jobs across the EU. This industry alliance, made up of leaders in sustainable manufacturing and social and environmental responsibility, is committed to European manufacturing as the fundamental driver of innovation, growth and jobs in Europe.