European industry must be defended against unfair competition

European industry must be defended against unfair competition, said MEP Iuliu Winkler, Vice-Chair of the International Trade Committee (INTA), moderating a debate in the European Parliament on the launch of the European industry’s manifesto on fair competition in international trade and the application of EU trade defence instruments. “We believe that the representatives of European industry are our legitimate partners, with whom we must maintain a constant and constructive dialogue. The European People’s Party (EPP) takes into account the views of European industry in public policymaking”, said the RMDSZ MEP.

The European Industry Manifesto was launched by AEGIS Europe, an organization that brings together 25 industrial associations representing a broad range of sectors, having an annual turnover of over € 500 billion and providing millions of jobs in the EU. The proposals of the AEGIS Europe Manifesto mainly refer to the protection of European industry against unfair trade practices and dumping by some of the EU’s global partners.

The international trade scene witnesses intensified frictions, caused by a worrying rise in protectionist and unilateral trade measures, which have increased the volatility and unpredictability of the global trade arena, said Vice-Chair Winkler. According to him, the industry calls for stronger enforcement of existing EU legislation on anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures but also for more determination in initiatives aiming to protect the EU’s trade interests. “We need new instruments such as the analysis and monitoring of investments, as well as long-term strategies to support innovation and help increase the competitiveness of European industries,” said Winkler at the end of the debate. “AEGIS Europe’s proposals and the conclusions of the debate will be reiterated in the new INTA Commission after the European elections. The European Parliament has strengthened its role in monitoring the implementation of EU trade agreements, but also in weighing in on developments on the global market, being determined to use these increased powers effectively, cementing its role as an important actor on the international trade scene”, concluded the RMDSZ MEP.

AEGIS Europe´s President, Ines Van Lierde, presented the Manifesto. She underlined that the current international regulatory environment is falling short of adequately addressing the distortions generated by state-centric trade-distorting economic policies and that a more robust multilateral legal framework is necessary to remedy the complex challenges facing the global trade arena. Representing the European Commission, Leopoldo Rubinacci, Director in DG Trade, stressed that a resolute application of EU trade defence instruments does not entail protectionism but an effort to strive for a level playing field at the European level.

Participants talked about the need to reform the World Trade Organization (WTO) on the backdrop of EU proposals in this domain. China’s lack of reciprocity in economic and trade relations with the EU and the lack of transparency of governmental measures distorting competition on both the Chinese and the global markets has been another important topic brought under discussion.

Among the members of AEGIS Europe, there are a significant number of companies from Romania, which mainly operate in the steel and metallurgy fields, as well as in the glass and ceramics processing industry or in the chemical industry.