REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT FIFTEENTH REPORT OVERVIEW OF THIRD COUNTRY TRADE DEFENCE ACTIONS AGAINST THE EUROPEAN UNION FOR THE YEAR 2017
1. The European Commission has now published its 15th annual report on 18 October 2018, which summarises the trade defence actions taken by third countries against the European Union (EU) in 2017. The EU has published a similar annual report in each year since 2003.
2. As the report explains in the introduction, trade defence instruments (TDIs) comprise three important trade measures – anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and safeguards – which are used to defend producers against unfairly traded and subsidised imports or against sudden or unforeseen increases of imports which might harm the EU’s economy. Trade defence measures are integral to the EU’s trade policy as well as elsewhere in a global trading environment which can only function on fair trading terms.
3. This report details that in terms of new investigations, the situation is stable, with 31 new investigations opened in 2017 compared with 30 in 2016. The total number of measures currently in force has increased slightly from 156 at the end of 2016 to 162 at the end of 2017.
4. The composition of new investigations changed slightly in 2017. The number of new anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations increased from 18 in 2016 to 22 in 2017, while the number of new safeguard investigations (which apply to fairly-priced imports from all third country sources and in theory affect EU exporters) decreased from 12 in 2016 to seven in 2017.