STRASBOURG, France, April 16 (Xinhua) -- The European Parliament (EP) on Wednesday confirmed its support for plans to upgrade European Union (EU) trade defense instruments.
The EP said in a press release that the EU should raise anti-dumping tariffs against dumped or subsidized imports from third countries, and do much more to help small firms take advantages of EU measures to combat them.
"We have today stated our position on the most controversial issue in European trade policy," said the rapporteur, Christofer Fjellner.
However, he added that it was "disappointing to see that the member states are too far away from each other to secure adoption within the seventh legislature," and "the Council has to find a way forward which secures trust in the instruments."
Member of the European Parliament (MEPs) want the EU to impose stiffer duties on dumped or subsidized imported goods if the exporting third country "does not have a sufficient level of social and environmental standards," judged on the basis of environmental and labor rights conventions.
Meanwhile, the MEPs suggest that the EU impose more moderate duties by applying a "lesser duty rule" when the subsidized imports come from a less-developed country wishing to pursue its "legitimate development goals."
The EP voted to confirm its first-reading position as the EU Council has not yet tabled a joint member states' position on the trade defence instruments update plan, an indication of the divide between member states.
The task of reaching an agreement on the final shape of the new rules will now be left for the new Parliament following May's European elections.
The current EU trade defense law dates back to 1995. Since then the EU's trade relations with third countries have changed substantially and supply chains have become much more global.
However, the issue remains controversial with many economists arguing that the anti-dumping legislation often amounts to thinly disguised protectionism.