Izaskun Bilbao calls on Brussels to take a firm stand against Chinese dumping in the wind turbine sector
Brussels must speed up the investigation opened by the European Commission into the unfair competition that various Chinese producers are practising in Europe against the steel wind turbine manufacturing sector, according to our Basque MEP Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (EAJ-PNV).
The Basque MEP's demand comes as the European Union presents its new industrial strategy. The lessons learned from the pandemic at all levels have prompted some corrections to the strategy which happened to be presented on the same day the WHO declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic. The corrections were developed by the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), of which MEP Bilbao Barandica is a substitute member.
Izaskun Bilbao Barandica welcomed the fact that the "Next Generation" funds will strengthen European industrial policy: "This will achieve everything from creating ecosystems that integrate knowledge, training, innovation, design, manufacturing, cooperation partnerships and intelligent specialisation networks to recovering production, the outsourcing of which has made us so dependent during the pandemic."
But while expressing her agreement with the main lines of the Union's new industrial plan, she also encouraged the reinforcement of mechanisms to protect European industries from those that don’t follow the same environmental and social standards. To illustrate her point, she gave the example of the European wind turbine manufacturing sector. MEP Bilbao Barandica’s native Spain accounts for 50% of the total European production of steel wind turbines. Dumping is already having a direct impact on the productivity and operations of plants located in Galicia, Andalusia, Castilla y León, the Basque Country, Asturias and Castilla-La Mancha. One plant has already been closed in Navarra.
Izaskun Bilbao Barandica therefore insisted that "it is essential to speed up the anti-dumping mechanisms to protect European industry from situations such as those experienced in recent months by the wind turbine sector. China is selling them in our market between 43 and 62% below the cost of production, which threatens a sector that is perfectly aligned with the objectives of our green pact and the guidelines of the energy transition and is technologically advanced".
In the same working session, the ITRE Committee also analysed the proposal launched last week by the European Commission to create a joint unit to develop coordinated responses at European level to large scale cyber-attacks.
Izaskun Bilbao Barandica stressed that the development of the European cybersecurity industry is essential to overcome the EU’s technological dependence in this area. She also welcomed the fact that the EU authorities have chosen the Basque Cybersecurity Centre to carry out the preliminary study that will be used to design the public-private investment fund that is going to be created to promote entrepreneurship in the sector.