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EU Trade Defence Policy Against Unfair Trade From Chinese SOEs: Unilateral or Multilateral Approaches ?



In the challenging relationship to an unconventional WTO trading partner such as China, the EU searches for effective tools to address trade distortive effects of foreign state ownership on the internal market. By imposing additional duties, anti-dumping and anti-subsidy action can level the playing field in trade with China. The legal framework does, however, only foresee limited possibilities to address specifically the issue of non-market economies or trade with state-owned enterprises. This paper contrasts the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy policy of the EU in relation to Chinese imports. In the frequently used anti-dumping instrument, the EU has foreseen unilaterally legislative amendments to the domestic legal framework to address non-market economy situations. By contrast, anti-subsidy investigations are far less used and the Commission calls for multilateral debate on the WTO rules to ensure a strengthened tool against unfair trade from Chinese SOEs, notably with regard to different obstacles including a burdensome definition of a public body, limited calculation methodologies and lack of transparency in China.


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