The European Union is committed to free trade. However, if European industries suffer as a result of unfair practices by non-EU countries, such as dumping and subsidised imports, the EU can respond with Trade Defence Instruments (TDIs). The European Court of Auditors has looked at this area for the first time. It concludes that the Commission has been successful in enforcing trade defence policy, but that there is room to improve the policy's effectiveness, particularly in view of the growing tensions in global trade politics.
As a member of the World Trade Organization and given its own values, the EU is committed to an open and rules-based trading system. The European Commission can use trade defence instruments to fight back against unfair competitive practices that are not compliant with international rules, such as dumping (export sales below domestic prices) and subsidisation (unjustified state support for export products).
“Open trade creates opportunities for European companies, if the playing field is level. In our audit, we found that the Commission was able to defend the interests of EU producers against unfair competition”, said Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz, the member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the report. “We think that European businesses should be more informed of this action against unfair practices. Moreover, there is scope for improvements in monitoring and prioritising activities to tackle future challenges in international trade.”
Press Release: System to protect EU businesses from unfair trade competition functioning well, say auditors