New anti-dumping rules: Three ways MEPs should stand up for EU manufacturers

Written by Inès Van Lierde on 14 June 2017 in Opinion Plus
Opinion Plus

MEPs should stand up for EU manufacturers by adding legal certainty to the EU’s new anti-dumping methodology, writes Inès Van Lierde.

Last May, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly to defend EU manufacturers against Chinese dumping.

A year on and MEPs are now debating how to strengthen the European Commission’s new anti-dumping methodology. Yet China is no closer to being a market economy today than it was last year, and should not be treated as one in anti-dumping procedures.

Now, as then, MEPs must send a powerful and united message that free trade must also be fair trade. Without strong anti-dumping measures to protect against Chinese trade distortions, the 30 sectors that we represent at AEGIS Europe – and the downstream sectors they support – will be put at serious risk.

Our companies are high-value, future-oriented and technologically advanced. They account for more than €500 billion in annual turnover and directly employ over 34 million people across the EU’s member states. Europe can only accomplish its ambitious climate and digital agendas through using the materials and products we produce.

There are three actions open to MEPs for safeguarding Europe’s manufacturing base. These will ensure that the new anti-dumping methodology guarantees the current levels of protection.

1. Define what counts as a “significant distortion”

First, MEPs should clearly define when countries are not operating under market conditions. The Commission has said that countries would only be treated differently when “significant distortions” are identified, however it has yet to adequately define the term. This creates uncertainty for EU industry.

MEPs can improve legal certainty by linking the definition of “significant distortions” with the five EU market economy criteria. These have been in place for two decades and provide the most accurate indication of whether countries such as China are distorting their markets.

2. Formalise the process for proving distortions

Second, MEPs must clarify how distortions are verified. The Commission has offered to develop “reports”, identifying distortions in countries or sectors, but has not specified how its assessments will be developed or their precise legal value.

MEPs need to make the Commission’s new reports mandatory and exhaustive. The reports should provide sufficient evidence for the Commission to use the new anti-dumping methodology, without any additional burden on EU industry.

These reports should be completed by the time the legislation enters into force. To provide the essential legal certainty, the existence of significant distortions needs to be determined early on in the Commission’s investigations.

3. Use a non-standard methodology after distortions are found  

Third and most importantly, MEPs must require that evidence of the existence of significant distortions automatically triggers the use of a non-standard anti-dumping methodology.

We are concerned that, as it stands, the Commission’s proposal makes it possible to use domestic prices and costs as the baseline for anti-dumping calculations. This would fail to address the distorted nature of prices and costs in countries such as China.

As a rule, dumping calculations should not use domestic prices and costs after one or more significant distortions have been proven. Instead, the Commission should construct normal values from scratch, using a combination of the most appropriate benchmarks for each factor of production. An exporting producer’s costs for a given factor of production should only be used if it proves they are not distorted.  

Europe’s manufacturing industries are relying on the European Parliament to stand up for them at this crucial juncture of the reform process. A robust, predictable and standalone anti-dumping methodology will ensure our continued global competitiveness.

About the author

Inès Van Lierde is chair of AEGIS Europe


About AEGIS Europe
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.

For more information, visit

Share this page



Partner content

This content is published by the Parliament Magazine on behalf of our partners.

Related Articles

The Commission's transparency register strategy is extremely worrying
17 August 2017

Regardless of who you talk to, everyone agrees: a strong register is important. But when it comes to practice, things start to look a lot bleaker, writes Margarida Silva.

EU condemns situation in Venezuela
3 August 2017

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani has condemned the arrests of opposition leaders in Venezuela as unjustified.

Related Partner Content

PM+: TTIP: A foot in the door in Washington?
19 May 2015

TTIP will allow Brussels greater influence in Washington, argues Craig Willy.

PM+: Delaying China market economy status vital for EU's competitiveness
5 November 2015

If Europe wants to avoid becoming China's dumping ground, then it must postpone granting China market economy status, argue Milan Nitzschke and Laurent Ruessmann.

European Parliament vote adds weight to calls for democratic reform in Montenegro
10 March 2016

Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Đukanović’s western charm offensive is crumbling at his feet, argues Andrey Petrushinin.