Imports from outside the EU reached €468.2 billion in the first quarter of 2017. To avoid unfair competition for European businesses and workers, fines are imposed on third countries deemed to be “dumping” goods into the EU market. The European Parliament is looking at a new methodology for calculating anti-dumping duties, where “significant market distortions” are the basis for calculations.
Bananas from South America, footwear from China, textiles from Turkey. Sometimes, goods are sold to Europe at very low prices – called dumping – which may threaten European industries and jobs. To counter this, anti-dumping fees are imposed. In the world of global trade, there are two main types of economies: a market economy and a non-market economy. In a market economy, prices are determined by rules of supply and demand with limited government interference. In a non-market economy, prices can be set by the state. One of the EU's biggest trade partners, China, is treated as a non-market economy. This means higher anti-dumping fees. China has asked the EU to grant it a market economy status. But with the new law, classifications won't matter. The EU Commission can decide how much duties to impose based on criteria such as state interference in the country, and not on the type of economy. It is not protectionism, but it's an instrument which, at its core, takes into consideration the necessity of having free market competition, at the same time considers the need for fairer conditions. The European Parliament is scrutinising the new legislation to ensure that the meaning and scope of the criteria are crystal clear. The aim: fairer trade conditions for EU companies.