The European Union (EU) is the world’s largest trading bloc and has become deeply integrated into global markets. This is because the EU is committed to an open, rules-based trading system. Free trade also contributes significantly to economic growth in the EU. However, this openness also means that the EU needs effective instruments to protect domestic industries from unfair trade practices by third countries. Trade Defence Instruments (TDIs) can be used to respond to practices such as dumping (where the price of goods for export is below the domestic price in the exporting country) and subsidisation (state support for exported products) which are not compliant with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. If such practices are confirmed during a TDI investigation by the Commission, the EU can respond by imposing appropriate anti-dumping or anti-subsidy measures (mostly in the form of duties) on the companies concerned.
EU trade policy is exclusively a policy of the European Union, therefore the Commission bears sole responsibility for carrying out TDI investigations and imposing measures. The underlying analytical work is carried out primarily by the Directorate-General for Trade, in co-operation with other departments as appropriate. Member States are co-decision makers through the Trade Defence Committee and all TDI investigations are subject to strict rules defined both at EU and WTO level.
The European Court of Auditors is conducting an audit on whether the Commission has been successful in enforcing the EU’s trade defence policy.
If you wish to contact the audit team, you may do so at the following email address: ECAfirstname.lastname@example.org.