Brussels, 13 December 2016 - After three years of being blocked, the Council has finally agreed on Trade Defence Instrument (TDI) modernisation. Unfortunately, the agreement the body has actually reached does not live up to its objective of strengthening the effectiveness of the EU’s trade defences against cases of blatant dumping.
“The adaptation of the Lesser Duty Rule (LDR) is one of the most important issues in making EU trade defence more effective in the face of massive dumping on the EU market. However, the compromise now found to deviate from the LDR in cases of raw material and energy distortions is, despite the huge efforts of the Slovak Presidency, a long way from what the recent European Council had asked foreign ministers to achieve on the TDI modernisation file”, said Axel Eggert, Director General of EUROFER.
Understanding the implications of dumping on the EU’s economy, environment and society, the Heads of State in the European Council of 20 October adopted the clear conclusion that:
“Unfair trade practices need to be tackled efficiently and robustly, [with] an agreement on the Council position [on TDI modernisation] by the end of 2016. Adequate provisions should address situations in which market conditions are not prevailing.”
“However, in the Council agreement the form of the LDR adaptation when there are raw material or energy distortions has become arbitrary, unpredictable and unworkable. It will be unable to address situations in which market conditions do not prevail
“Moreover, the period of advanced notice for exporters and traders about the imposition of provisional measures has been stretched from 2 to 4 weeks, undermining the remedial effect of duties to be applied,”, said Mr Eggert.
More positively, EUROFER supports the improvement of the target profit methodology, despite this only producing marginal duty improvements. The lifting of the LDR in anti-subsidy cases is also a plus, but subsidy margins tend to be low so the effect of this change will be limited.
“We urge Heads of State and the European Parliament to insist on a workable solution for the LDR in anti-dumping proceedings. EUROFER has put forward proposals that would ensure that duties adequately address unfair trade and reflect the actual degree of dumping – not by removing the LDR, but instead through its readjustment. Our proposals accounted fully for some member states’ fears that duties would end up being too high. We still believe that our proposals could form the basis for common agreement between the EU institutions”, concluded Mr Eggert.
This Press Release was updated on 13/12/2016 with corrections to the title and content.
 Under the Council agreement, the principle behind LDR adaptation in cases where there are raw material or energy distortions has become arbitrary, unpredictable and unworkable.
Charles de Lusignan, Communications Manager, +32 2 738 79 35, (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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EUROFER is located in Brussels and was founded in 1976. It represents the entirety of steel production in the European Union. EUROFER members are steel companies and national steel federations throughout the EU. The major steel companies and national steel federations in Switzerland and Turkey are associate members.
The European steel industry is a world leader in innovation and environmental sustainability. It has a turnover of around €170 billion and directly employs 320,000 highly-skilled people, producing on average 170 million tonnes of steel per year. More than 500 steel production sites across 24 EU Member States provide direct and indirect employment to millions more European citizens. Closely integrated with Europe’s manufacturing and construction industries, steel is the backbone for development, growth and employment in Europe.
Steel is the most versatile industrial material in the world. The thousands of different grades and types of steel developed by the industry make the modern world possible. Steel is 100% recyclable and therefore is a fundamental part of the circular economy. As a basic engineering material, steel is also an essential factor in the development and deployment of innovative, CO2-mitigating technologies, improving resource efficiency and fostering sustainable development in Europe.