At the end of April, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (Cade) announced a public selection process, still in progress, for the hiring of specialized technical consultancy for the preparation of studies and construction of a strategy for the agency’s action in cases of commercial defense.
In addition to its already well-known institutional attributions with the Brazilian System for the Defense of Competition (SBDC), as described in Law No. 12,529/2011, since 2019, with the publication of Decree No. 10.044/2019, CADE became a guest member, on a permanent basis, of the Management Executive Committee (Gecex) of the Foreign Trade Chamber (Camex), the body responsible for foreign trade policies.
Since then, the Council has also started to act more actively in trade defense investigations, both through the presentation of manifestations in the so-called Public Interest Assessments of commercial remedies, and in the debates established at Gecex meetings. Despite not having the right to vote in decision-making, its role is relevant and, at first, it has taken the direction of contributing with subsidies in matters of competition defense, especially for the assessment of the potential competition impacts of trade defense measures.
In general terms and simply put, the application or not of trade defense measures decided by Gecex (such as anti-dumping duties or safeguard measures, which may or may not be suspended for reasons of public interest), always has the potential to affect competition between local and international suppliers of the evaluated products. With this, an attempt is made to level competition at the national level in cases where it is verified that imported products are being supplied in the domestic market at prices below their normal sales value of the like product in the country of origin, as a result of the exporter’s strategy or in due to political measures in the exporting country. It is also necessary to assess whether the mismatches between prices are effectively causing damage to sales of domestic products similar to the imported ones investigated, and to rule out the possibility that this damage is being caused by other factors.
In this step, the contribution of a body specialized in competition analysis, with already consolidated expertise on the functioning of certain sectors, is very necessary and represents an important advance in the integration of trade defense and competition policies. CADE’s initiative to hire technical consultancy for the preparation of studies and construction of its action strategy in trade defense cases is therefore very welcome, as it will allow the Autarchy to improve its knowledge of the applicable rules and adapt to its attribution as a member of Gecex.
Based on an analysis of the contract notice published by CADE, it is expected that the Consultant will help improve the Authority’s technical understanding of new trade defense topics (such as updating the procedures for investigating subsidies and application of compensatory measures, brought by Decree No. 10.839/2021). In addition, the Municipality is concerned with deepening its understanding of the productive sectors historically involved in trade defense processes (such sectors would be metals, chemicals and plastics, as pointed out in the article by Naiana Magrini, co-authored with Anna Nogueira, 2021). Finally, the Consultant will also be responsible for training CADE’s employees in relation to trade defense issues. The hiring, in this sense, is very welcome and it is expected that it will in fact contribute to the promotion of a healthier competitive and economic environment in the national context.
 NOGUEIRA, Anna; MAGRINI, Naiana. Concentração setorial na aplicação de medidas antidumping no Brasil: análise de fatores jurídicos e econômicos. In: ATHAYDE, Amanda; MELO, Lilian Cintra de (org.). Comércio Internacional e Concorrência, desafios e perspectivas atuais (Vol. III). Disponível em: < https://www.amandaathayde.com.br/livros-organizados > Acesso em 02/05/2022.