5th February 2016

MEPs ask for WTO-compatible anti-dumping measures against China

Since 2016 is the year China should have its “market economy status” in the WTO revisited, debates are ongoing in Brussels, and elsewhere, about the possible impacts of any decision. Today, China is not regarded as full-scale market economy and thus WTO members can use counter-measures (anti-dumping measures) if they deem a given Chinese industry is receiving unusual support from the government. If China is recognized to be a market economy this year, the basic premise will be that such dumping measures do not take place. Classic anti-dumping measures are no more legal in that case. Last week, the MEPs discussed the issue during their plenary in Strasbourg with Commissioner Malmstroem, responsible for trade policy. There are 3 options for the EU about how to proceed – to give China market economy status and not change EU legislation on anti-dumping could be seen as illegal in the WTO. To give China market economy status and stop the application of anti-dumping measures altogether would endanger thousands of jobs in sensitive industries across the EU (the Commissioner mentioned some 180,000 thousand jobs, MEPs talked of more than 3 million). The only viable option thus seems to be adjusting EU anti-dumping measures to be WTO-compatible even with China as market economy. This will surely be challenging and will take some time for the legislative process to pass. However, industries such as steel industry, currently barely surviving in part due to Chinese competition, should be protected, MEPs concluded.

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic