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07 March 2021 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 15:28 GMT+1



February 22, 2021

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SEA Europe trusts that the EU's new trade strategy protect the European shipbuilding industry

Tytgat: the association looks forward to working on close contact with the EU Commission to adopt the necessary "autonomous" tools

"Despite numerous declarations and commitments, in Europe the maritime technologies sector, and in particular shipbuilding, is still awaiting action aimed at filling a glaging legal gap in the trade defence instruments that for more than three decades has prevented the shipbuilding industry from protecting itself from unfair commercial practices.' Christophe denounced it Tytgat, Secretary-General of SEA Europe, the European Association shipbuilding industry, commenting on the new review of EU trade policy adopted on Thursday the European Commission, a new strategy - explained the European Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis, who is adopted because, 'in order to help restore the growth and job creation after the pandemic, we must be able to count on open and rules-based trade.'

Highlighting that production capacities in the field maritime union are essential for Europe's strategic autonomy and for the EU's ambitions to lead a double revolution both "green" that digital, Tytgat pointed out that, as observed by SEA Europe in its response to the consultation on the review of EU trade policy, practices unfair commercial activities in progress, which have worsened with the outbreak of covid-19 pandemic, put at risk the survival of the european maritime technology industry, especially in lack of strategic and specific solutions to ensure equality conditions in the shipbuilding sector and for safeguard trade against rampant competition from East Asia.

"As early as 1988," recalled the Secretary-General of the sea europe - the then European Commission announced actions against trade distortions from shipyards asians, admitting that -- said Tytgat referring to the foreign policy guidelines for the area of foreign policy shipbuilding projects adopted by the EU Commission on 23 March 1988 in with a view to specific negotiations to be taken against Japan and South Korea -- "could not refuse to allow this industry (shipbuilding) to equip itself with weapons of trade defence that are available to other industries." Unfortunately -- complained Tytgat -- none of those actions announced has been adopted or has never materialised. What a consequence - recriminated the Secretary-General of SEA Europe - Europe has completely lost its sector of construction of merchant ships and has lost part of the offshore construction to the benefit of Asia, exposing itself to dangerous vulnerabilities and dependencies on Asia. With Covid-19 - tytgat - the remainder of the strategic sector of the european shipbuilding industry is at risk, and so it is also its entire supply chain."

However, SEA Europe is confident that the new adopted by the EU in the field of trade can correct these errors and the association expressed appreciation for the firm commitment expressed by the European Commission in "developing its own tools to protect European companies from business practices unfair measures' and in using 'autonomous instruments to pursue, where necessary, the interests of the EU.' 'SEA Europe - pointed out Tytgat - firmly believes that the new trade strategy and the upcoming new EU instrument in foreign subsidies provide the right political impetus in order for the European Commission finally to fulfil its responsibility for filling specific gaps in the legal instruments in trade defence instruments for the sector shipbuilding and therefore - specified Tytgat - awaits looking forward to working closely with the European Commission to adopt the necessary "autonomous" tools that safeguard and promote the foundations of the maritime industry European. These foundations of the maritime industry - concluded Tytgat - are vital for strategic autonomy, innovation and sustainable growth of Europe.'

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