Trade Defense: Anti-dumping and Anti-subsidy (EU)

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The EU has a very active trade defense policy. It is prepared to impose duties when dumped and subsidized imports injure EU producers. The measures currently in place target over 60 different products from 27 countries.

In order to decide whether to impose or modify trade defense measures, the EU Commission carries out in-depth investigations. There are considerable interests at stake for companies involved in these investigations:

EU Producers:
They are seeking to obtain relief from cheap imports that take away market share and cut into their profits. In many cases, obtaining duties is the only chance to ensure survival and protect jobs.

Third Country Exporters:
If duties are imposed, they risk being cut off from the EU market, which often represents a significant portion of their business and profits.

EU Importers:
Sales of the targeted product from the country under investigation often represent a major part of their business, which they risk losing if duties are imposed.

EU Users:
In today’s global economy, manufacturers in the EU rely on inputs imported from third countries. If these imports are levied with a duty, this can significantly affect the ability of these users to compete.

In our experience, any company involved in an anti-dumping or anti-subsidy investigation must do two things if it wants to obtain a favorable outcome:

Firstly, it must present strong legal and economic arguments. Trade defense investigations raise many difficult legal and economic questions that offer ample opportunities for creative lawyering but also present many pitfalls. A strong legal and economic case is the foundation on which to build a political strategy.

Secondly, it must play the political cards right. Politics play an important role in trade defense investigations, in particular because of the interplay between the EU Commission and the Member States and the many conflicting interests at stake. Knowing which decision maker to approach and what arguments to make to best address particular interests can make a huge difference.

The services that we offer cover the entire spectrum of issues that arise in trade defense matters, and include:

  • Assisting EU producers in preparing and lodging an anti-dumping or anti-subsidy complaint, a review request, or an anti-circumvention request, and representing them in the ensuing investigation
  • Representing third country exporters or EU importers who oppose the imposition of duties
  • Advising third country exporters on how to structure their operations in order to minimize the risk of an EU trade defense investigation
  • Representing trade associations or foreign governments who want to have their voices heard in investigations
  • Representing parties before the EU Courts in Luxembourg, or national courts

Moreover, in recent years many new third world countries, in particular China, Brazil, and Argentina, have started using the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy instruments against imports from the EU. EU and international companies who are targeted by such investigations will typically seek to engage an international firm with significant trade experience to assist the local firm. We assist companies in third-country trade defense investigations, including in the selection of local counsel. Because of our experience with the EU Commission’s Directorate General for Trade, we can also advise on how best to solicit the support from the EU Commission, including in appropriate cases, the initiation of a case against the third country in the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Our lawyers have been involved in over 150 anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases before the EU Courts during the past 20 years including:

  • Aspartame from the United States
  • Bicycles from China
  • Ammonium nitrate from Russia
  • Salmon from Norway
  • Shoes from China
  • Drams from Korea (the Hynix case)
  • Energy saving light bulbs from China
  • Coated fine paper from China

Our lawyers have also represented EU industries in anti-dumping investigations relating to imports from China, having always obtained the imposition of duties. Examples include:

  • Seamless pipes and tubes from China
  • Aluminum road wheels from China
  • Candles from China
  • Ironing boards from China and the Ukraine