Another Europe is possible

Committee vote to liberalise trade threatens EU jobs and dumping risks

30/05/2017

Committee vote to liberalise trade threatens EU jobs and dumping risks

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License: (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

A GUE/NGL opinion that would have prevented social, tax and environmental dumping in multilateral trade had to be withdrawn this morning after right-wing MEPs joined forces to change the text of a Commission proposal that will liberalise trade with countries without Market Economy Status (like China), thus putting thousands of EU jobs at risk.

Following the Commission’s proposal on the ‘Protection against dumped and subsidised imports from countries not members of the EU’,  GUE/NGL’s Paloma López had put forward a proposed opinion - agreed with S&D and EFDD MEPs - in the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), enhancing anti-dumping instruments.

In addition, the opinion drafted by the Spanish MEP also included provisions that would have given representatives from trade unions a stronger role in the decision-making process by the Commission.

But with the support of the Greens, the EPP and other right-wing groups agreed on a final text that was completely different from the one that GUE/NGL had proposed. This ultimately led to López withdrawing her name from the opinion.

Speaking after the vote, López said:

"We regret this outcome, which will imply a unilateral liberalisation of trade with China in the World Trade Organisation (WTO). This will cost thousands of EU workers’ jobs - particularly in sectors such as steel or ceramic.”

"Our proposal was clear on the criteria to fight social, environmental and fiscal dumping. However, the final text is quite vague on these issues and supports privatisation and deregulation as a precondition for gaining access to international trade. These are matters which we have been fighting against strongly for a long time.”

"We support multilateral trade as long as we have rules that strengthen social, environmental and tax standards between all trade partners, and one which allows public intervention whenever necessary. We profoundly regret that the European Parliament is once again supporting the Commission on furthering liberalisation within the context of WTO multilateral rules,” concluded López.

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