The European Commission has proposed changes to the European Union’s anti-dumping and anti-subsidy rules.

The plan is to remove the EU’s established distinction between market and non-market economies for countries that are members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

While the Brussels-based European Steel Association (EUROFER) supports the introduction of a new ‘non-standard’ methodology based on the concept of ‘significant distortions’, it has reservations on the feasibility of the approach taken in the proposal.

Unlike in the USA, the plan is to abandon established references to non-market economies, which have justified the use of a non-standard methodology.

Axel Eggert, director-general of EUROFER, argues that the new concept of ‘significant distortion’ should be clarified in relation to WTO rules.

“Moreover, the new case-by-case assessment shifts the burden of proof for applying a non-standard methodology to the EU itself – on to the Commission and complainant industry,” Eggert commented.

According to Eggert, such a move reverses the current law where the onus is on the exporting country or industry to show that it’s economy or companies comply with the EU market economy criteria.

Eggert has called for the European Commission’s proposal to be closely reviewed by the other EU institutions. “In particular aligning it with the main conclusions of the European Parliament’s overwhelmingly-passed resolution,” he said.