New EU laws announced to tackle unfair trading practices

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The EU's Trade Commissioner has said new laws will be introduced to try and tackle unfair trading practices.

In a statement on 10 April 2013, Karel de Gucht said new rules were needed to prevent EU business being unfairly undercut by cheap subsidised imports from non-EU countries.

The new laws will allow the Commission to undertake investigations into unfair practices, without needing to wait for a request from EU industry groups.

The Commission will also be allowed to impose higher import duties on products imported from countries which use unfair subsidies.

Mr de Gucht said the proposed reforms were "balanced and pragmatic" and highlighted that this was the first time since 1995 that the Commission had carried out a review of its so-called "trade defence measures".

The Commission estimates that these measures currently impact on only 0.25% of all EU imports.

An investigation was recently opened into subsidies given to Chinese solar panel makers by the Chinese government.

European manufacturers accuse their Chinese rivals of being able to sell panels in Europe at artificially low prices.

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