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Trade

Trade defence

Trade defence instruments, such as anti-dumping or anti-subsidy duties, are ways of protecting European production against international trade distortions.

Trade topics
Trade defence

The EU stands firm against unfair trade practices through trade defence instruments (TDIs). This is necessary to uphold the EU's commitment to open markets and free trade.

Free trade must be fair. If this is not the case, the EU restores fairness and a level playing field. In doing so, the EU makes sure that procedures are followed rigorously and takes all EU interests into account.

The role of trade defence

Open trade can grow businesses and create jobs but fair competition must be maintained between domestic and foreign producers.

The EU’s use of trade defence instruments is based on World Trade Organization rules. The EU uses these instruments and applies a number of extra conditions to the WTO rules to make sure their use is measured.

A quick tour of the different Trade Defence Instruments to tackle unfair trade.
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EU protects: How EU trade investigators protected jobs against unfair competition
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EU trade defence policy

The European Commission monitors the application of trade defence instruments, ensures measured are enforced and negotiates future rules with international partners.

Improved trade defence instruments

The EU has improved its trade defence instruments (TDIs) to make sure they become more effective while reflecting EU values.

Actions against imports into the EU

The European Commission is responsible for investigating allegations of dumping by exporting producers in non-EU countries.

Actions against exports from the EU

The EU is sometimes the subject of trade defence investigations initiated in non-EU countries. The EU monitors trade defence investigations in other countries around the world and guides EU producers affected by such investigations. 

  • The EU's trade policy aims to help the EU to compete better on international markets. Unwarranted trade defence measures unfairly block EU exporters' free access to the world's markets, and their negative impact should be minimised whenever possible.
  • Any exporting industry subject to a trade defence action initiated by a non-EU country is responsible for defending its rights throughout the proceedings and for cooperating with the investigating authorities to favour a positive outcome.

List of cases taken against EU countries

More on trade defence

Annual Reports on EU trade defence actions

The World Trade Organization sets the global framework for anti-dumping and anti-subsidy rules.

Personal data protection

The processing of personal data by the EU institutions and bodies is covered by
Regulation (EU) 2018/1725.

Decision (EU) 2018/1996 restricts certain rights of individuals in trade defence investigations.

The TDI privacy statement gives you more information.

The privacy statement relating to the implementation of the bicycle parts exemption scheme gives you more information.

Latest news

  • Press release

EU's trade defence measures protect over 460,000 European jobs

Today, the European Commission published its Annual Report on the EU's trade defence activities of 2021. The Report concludes that 462,000 EU jobs were directly protected by the EU's trade measures in 2021 in key EU manufacturing sectors such as aluminium, steel, ceramics and green technology.

  • News article

EU knocks down barriers to exports of ceramic tiles

As of today, 31 March 2022, EU exporters of ceramic tiles will no longer need to undergo redundant testing or product audits when they export to Saudi Arabia, meaning exporting will become cheaper, faster and more predictable.