On 24 November, FTA held its fifth Round Table on international trade issues. Under the title “Do we need greater transparency in the EU’s anti-dumping system?”, the audience heard the views from Folkert Graafsma, from law firm Holman Fenwick Willan; Karl Tachelet, Director of International Affairs for Eurofer; and Stuart Newman, FTA’s Legal Advisor. Moderating the panel was Hannes Welge, the EU Commission’s Hearing Officer for trade defence instruments.
The panel explored the possibility that a system similar to that of the US --where access to confidential material collected during an investigation is permitted to authorised persons-- could be implemented in the EU. Consequently, speakers discussed the problems that can occur when access to information is restricted to the non-confidential file. Concerns were raised over the possibility that confidential material may be leaked; however, speakers assured that controls would be in place to prevent this from happening. Other concerns pointed that the system would likely involve an increased use of lawyers and therefore increased cost. In this situation, SMEs could collectively fund the work by a lawyer or use the services of an expert within a trade association (such as the FTA) to which it were a member.
FTA published a position paper earlier this year on transparency in anti-dumping and will continue its work in this regard and liaise closely with the EU Commission – particularly since the recent trade strategy Trade For All released in October gave specific mention of this topic.