EU must have effective trade defence instruments to deal with unfair competition, warn Labour MEPs

Labour MEPs today warned that the European Union must have effective trade defence instruments to deal with unfair competition and protect Europe’s threatened industries like the steel sector.

Jude Kirton-Darling MEP, member of the European Parliament international trade committee, told MEPs:

“Having effective trade defences is a precondition to free and fair trade. The forced closure of the SSI steel plant in Redcar in my constituency shows the human cost of inaction to ensure fair prices in global markets.

“Our current trade defence instruments have been insufficient to shield our manufacturing industries, particularly the steel sector, from unfair competition and excess capacity. A majority of EU countries support their modernisation, as does the European Parliament and Commission.

“But in an example of how the EU does not force its will on its member states, the UK government has been able to block this reform for more than two years. It is time for the UK to use its real influence in Brussels to support EU reforms needed by our communities rather than hinder them.”

David Martin MEP, Socialists and Democrats Group spokesperson on international trade, added:

“It is essential that the EU has fast and effective trade defence instruments to deal with unfair competition.

“Both the European Parliament and Commission have risen to the challenge with constructive proposals. All eyes are now on the Council to get its act together and deliver us the tools we need to defend our jobs and industry.”