On April 16, 2018, the Council gave a formal approval to the political agreement reached between the Commission, the Council and the European Parliament on 5 December 2017 to modernise the EU’s trade defence instruments. Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said: “With today’s approval by the Council, we are very close to having the necessary tools to tackle unfair trading practices even more effectively. The EU stands for open and rules-based trade, but we must also ensure that others do not take advantage of our openness. I now look forward to the adoption of the new rules by the European Parliament to allow for their swift entry into force.” The changes to the EU’s anti-dumping and anti-subsidy regulations will make the EU’s trade defence instruments more adapted to the challenges of the global economy: they shall become more effective, transparent and easier to use for companies. In some cases, they will also enable the EU to impose higher duties on dumped products. The new rules will shorten the current investigation period and make the system more transparent. The companies will benefit from an early warning system that will help them adapt to the new situation in case duties are imposed. Smaller companies will also get assistance from a help desk, to make it easier for them to trigger and participate in trade defence proceedings. Also, in some cases, the EU will adapt its ‘lesser duty rule’ and may impose higher duties. This will apply to cases targeting imports of unfairly subsidised or dumped products from countries where raw materials and energy prices are distorted.