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  June 21st, 2016 | Written by

MEPs Want Halt to Rail Equipment Imports from non-EU Countries

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  • MEPs call on EC to ensure fair opportunities to compete for the European rail supply industry.
  • Parliament wants a coherent EU trade strategy on rail equipment imports.
  • MEPs want future EU trade agreements to improve market access for the European Rail Supply Industry.

A surge in low-cost EU imports of rail supplies such as engines or signals from non-EU countries, including China, is skewing competitive conditions for EU suppliers, members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have warned.

Much of this surge, the claim, is due to strong political and financial support in exporters’ home countries.

Parliament called on the EU Commission (EC) to craft “a coherent EU trade strategy, which ensures compliance with the principle of reciprocity, particularly in relation to Japan, China and the USA.”

“These practices may constitute unfair competition which threatens jobs in Europe”, said the non-legislative resolution, which was passed by a show of hands.

MEPs also ask that future EU trade agreements and revisions of existing ones should include “specific provisions which significantly improve market access for the European Rail Supply Industry (RSI), especially with respect to public procurement”.

The RSI encompasses the manufacture of locomotives and rolling stock, track, electrification, signaling and telecommunication equipment, as well as maintenance and parts services. It employs 400,000 people, invests 2.7 percent of its annual revenues in research and development and accounts for 46 percent of the world RSI market, according to the resolution.

The railway sector overall, including operators and infrastructure, is responsible for more than one-million jobs directly and 1.2 million indirectly in the EU.