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Trade defence | Thursday 19 May 2016

The Commission increases transparency of its trade defence procedures

Today, the Commission has taken further steps to increase transparency in its trade defence procedures and to facilitate communication with the involved stakeholders.

  • Following the initiation on 13 May of trade defence cases on hot-rolled steel and paper from China, the Commission published an executive summary containing substantial additional information on the request to carry out an investigation. It will now systematically publish executive summaries of any requests for new investigation or review of existing anti-dumping or anti-subsidy measures to improve access to information on trade defence cases.
  • Moreover, the Commission will put in place a new online platform improving communication between stakeholders involved in the ongoing proceedings.

These two steps implement two important transparency commitments formulated in the Commission's communication of October 2015, ‘Trade for all’.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said: "I'm committed to making trade policy more transparent across-the-board, including for trade defence. With the on-going steel crisis, we need more engagement between the Commission's trade defence services and everyone concerned, including small businesses who struggle with unfair imports. With these new tools to improve two-way communication, we hope for more contributions to help us better address the industry's legitimate concerns."

The systematic publication of executive summaries of requests will help spread the information about any starting investigation to the public at large and guarantee that all interested parties can bring their contribution.

As it comes to the new dedicated web platform "TRON" (from "TRrade ONline"), it will offer the parties involved in each particular procedure an instant online access to the entire non-confidential case-related file. This provides relief particularly to smaller companies that will no longer be obliged to request access to the file through a Brussels-based representative.

In the future, TRON will include two additional features: it will allow interested parties to send their submissions to the Commission and the Commission to send communications - for example preliminary investigation findings - to the interested parties. The pilot phase for both additional features will be rolled out in the coming weeks to make the whole system fully operational by the end of 2016.

For more information:

Executive summaries already available:

Hot-rolled steel from China
Coated fine paper from China (antidumping)
Coated fine paper from China (anti-subsidy)

EU trade defence policy