Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-10-24-Speech-2-387"

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"Mr President, the increase in international trade in recent years has led, among other things, to increased competition and has tempted many countries to resort to trade protection mechanisms in order to protect their markets. It should not, therefore, come as a surprise that there have been increasing numbers of situations in which anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and safeguard measures have been adopted. European exports, as the report before us clearly demonstrates, have been the target on a number of occasions of such measures on the part of third countries. Such cases have risen alarmingly. As well as the traditional countries, some of the new players to have arrived on the international trade relations scene are involved. This phenomenon, which could significantly harm a number of European industries, must therefore be tackled seriously. Such an approach entails, first and foremost, carefully separating cases in which the use of these instruments arises entirely from the legitimate implementation of the principles of fair trade relations from those in which their use is merely a legal smokescreen to cover up illegal protectionist measures in the very worst sense of the term. This distinction can only be made completely clearly if we are committed to strengthening transparency in the processes aimed at assessing whether trade defence measures are being used legitimately or otherwise. The aim is therefore to ensure complete compliance with the rules and the case law of the World Trade Organisation. To this end, the Commission must channel its efforts into helping improve these procedures, thereby discouraging the illicit use of these instruments. That being said, it is appropriate to mention the importance of the Commission's assistance to the Member States and to European industry in trade protection cases initiated by third countries. This support is particularly significant for SMEs, which by nature are less well equipped to deal with situations of this kind. Lastly, we welcome the fact that the Commission is ready to take an active role within the WTO in jointly reviewing the provisions regulating the adoption of trade protection instruments, with a view to stressing the value of multilateralism. At no point in this debate, however, must it be forgotten that the EU is the most open trading area in the world and that the Europeans also have legitimate interests to safeguard."@en1

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