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EU Decides on Reforms of Anti-Dumping Rules

Industry- & Retail Organizations

BRUSSELS, Belgium – Yesterday, the European Commission took a long awaited decision on how to reform its anti-dumping rules. The Commission announced

EU Decides on Reforms of Anti-Dumping Rules

BRUSSELS, Belgium – Yesterday, the European Commission took a long awaited decision on how to reform its anti-dumping rules. The Commission announced that it is shelving plans to reform its current trade defence instruments, i.e. anti-dumping measures.

These plans were a major concern for the bike industry associations European Bicycle Manufacturers’ Association (EBMA) and COLIPED (association for parts makers in Europe) which protested vehemently against any changes.

“After a year of hard work, we won,” said EBMA Chairman Brian Montgomery (photo) in an initial reaction.

Job Losses

At the end of 2006, the European Commission issued a Green Paper aimed at re-examining the EU’s trade defence mechanisms, including all dumping measures. It was part of Directory General (DG) Trade’s strategy to ensure European competitiveness in a changing global economy, with a surge of Chinese exports and job losses caused by the outsourcing of production by European countries to Asia.

Right from the start of the ‘reflection’ it became clear that lots of industry bodies throughout Europe were against changing the EU’s trade defence instruments. Trade commissioner, Peter Mandelson, obviously didn’t expect such strong opposition against these reforms. That strong opposition was best reflected at a March 13, 2007 public hearing for stakeholders. That 350 people attended came as a complete surprise for the Commission who had to make rapid changes to accommodate all the representatives, including around twenty from the bicycle business.

Secretly Changing?

After the stakeholder consultations, little was heard about the direction Mandelson would take on the dossier. That silence led last June to allegations from industry associations that he was secretly changing the trade policy of the EU to end all anti-dumping duties.

Yesterday, Mandelson acknowledged the fact that he could not get agreement on the reform of the Trade Defense Instruments from the 27 EU countries and said that the proposals would be delayed.

Delay Seen as Retreat

That ‘delay’ is by industry associations seen as a retreat, and the representatives of the bike industry are overjoyed.  EBMA Chairman Brian Montgomery and COLIPED Chairman Moreno Fioravanti both commented: “This is a great result. As bike industry associations we were solid in our opposition against the reforms and that has now paid off.”

That the reform plans are shelved could have an impact on the anti-circumvention duties on bicycle parts made in China and exported to Europe, which are currently under review by the European Commission. With the dropped reforms of EU’s trade defence instruments, it’s more likely that the European Commission will decide not to change the current anti-circumvention duties of 48.5% on parts imported from China. A decision on this must be made by the European Commission next February.

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