Hearing on EU Dumping Actions: No Changes, Please
BRUSSELS, Belgium Well over 350 people attended a recent public hearing held by the European Commission on whether and how to reform the current trade defence instruments, i.e. anti-dumping measures. The bicycle business was very well represented some 20 participants. Among them EBMA Chairman, Brian Montgomery who
BRUSSELS, Belgium – Well over 350 people attended a recent public hearing held by the European Commission on whether and how to reform the current trade defence instruments, i.e. anti-dumping measures. The bicycle business was very well represented some 20 participants. Among them EBMA Chairman, Brian Montgomery who said that the EBMA is perfectly happy with the current system and is absolutely against the idea of softening the existing rules. On behalf of COLIPED, Moreno Fioravanti, protested vehemently against any possible change.
The public hearing was held by the European Commission on March 13. That 350 people attended was a complete surprise for the Commission who had to make rapid changes to accommodate all the representatives of a very wide range of stakeholders, not only producers, importers and exporters, but also retailers, consumers, law firms, universities, member states, third countries, etc.
The bicycle business was very well represented with some 20 participants. Next to EBMA Chairman, Brian Montgomery and Coliped President, Moreno Fioravanti, also ETRA Secretary General, Annick Roetynck was present as well as a very large Italian delegation.
After more than 6 hours of debate, a number of issues clearly transpired. The stakeholders were divided in two distinct groups. On the one hand were those, mainly producers, who pleaded not to change anything to the current trade defence instruments. Some of them had clearly overlooked the Commission’s statement that: “The Green Paper does not question the fundamental value of trade defence instruments, but invites a public reflection on how the EU can continue to use them to best effect in the European interest.” Those stakeholders seemed to be under the impression that any change would result in further dismantling of the European industry and more outsourcing to countries outside the European Union.
A second group commented on the current legislation with a very wide variety of ideas, suggestions and proposals for a better and more effective application of the trade defence instruments. The key elements of these reactions were transparency in the investigations, more weight for the Community interest in weighing the balance of interests in anti-dumping cases and a stricter and more effective of application of the measures.
On behalf of the European bicycle and bicycle parts industry, both Brian Montgomery and Moreno Fioravanti, joined the first group of stakeholders, expressing themselves in no uncertain terms. Brian Montgomery explained that, in the past 10 to 12 years, EBMA has been fighting against heavy dumping on bicycles and bicycle parts with a view to defending the interests of European workers. He added that EBMA is perfectly happy with the current system and is absolutely against the idea of softening the existing rules. He concluded: “There seems to be an awful lot of questions being asked that strikes me as a little bit unnecessary, really.”
On behalf of COLIPED, Moreno Fioravanti, protested vehemently against any possible change. His argument: “This Green Paper will strongly contribute to making China the factory of the world, a giant monopoly against we should all fight united.” He suspects Commissioner Mandelson of only wanting to reform the trade defence instruments because it will be beneficial to the political relationship with China. In conclusion, he warned the Commission: “This Green Paper risks to become a Trojan horse, which will devastate the European industry in favour of China.” The Chairman of the meeting, who refrained from any comments on the stakeholders’ contributions, made one exception to this rule. After Moreno Fioravanti’s intervention he summoned the other speakers to keep the discussion technical.
The video of the hearing is on-line at: ec.europa.eu/trade/issues/respectrules/anti_dumping/hr020207_en.htm. Brian Montgomery and Moreno Fioravanti’s contribution are in Part 3, at the 47th minute and 1H27 respectively.