The EESC is committed to open and fair trade and recognises its value as a driver of growth and jobs.
Therefore, the EESC calls for a level playing field between European and third country exporting producers, and for effective trade defence instruments.
The EESC takes the view that, overall, the Commission's proposal provides a balanced approach between the issue of China's market economy status, on the one hand, and the goal of having an effective dumping calculation method, on the other.
The EESC supports the Commission's proposal that the dumping margin should be calculated not using the standard methodology, but on the basis of benchmarks that take account of significantly distorted production and sale costs. The EESC points out that in its 2016 opinion on preserving sustainable jobs and growth in the steel industry, it already called for the standard methodology not to be used in anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations into Chinese imports as long as the country failed to meet the EU's five criteria for market economy status.
The EESC welcomes the Commission's intention of using specific criteria to determine whether there are significant distortions in the market situation. The Committee notes that the respect of ILO standards and of Multilateral Environment Agreements should also be considered.
The EESC calls on the Parliament and the Council to clearly state that the Commission will issue specific country reports for every country with significant market distortions.
The EESC notes, however, that there is still room for improvement in the Commission's proposal to amend the basic anti-dumping regulation in terms of the effectiveness and practicability of the anti-dumping investigation process (legal status, feasibility and pertinence of the proposed reports), and particularly with regard to the burden of proof, which should not be shifted onto the European industry.
In addition, the EESC stresses that the anti-dumping complaints procedure must also be accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises. The Committee also notes that the efficiency of trade defence instrument (TDI) procedures is also linked to the 2013 proposal to modernise TDI, including the lesser duty rule. The EESC insists that it is crucially important for the TDI modernisation package to also be finalised and adopted in the coming months in order to produce a robust and effective trade defence system and to secure jobs and growth in the EU.