The use of anti-dumping in the EU is justified on the grounds of eliminating injurious dumping by foreign firms and establishing conditions of ‘fair’ trade. But most economists are of the opinion that anti-dumping has little to do with ‘unfair’ trade. Such a highly-charged area of trade policy tends to generate defensive positioning and it can be difficult to obtain a clear understanding of how it is being used and its significance for Europe’s trade with the rest of the world. In this paper, Lucy Davis begins an investigative process to identify the shape of EU anti-dumping usage in the past 10 years, using information from the 332 cases initiated since 1998. Trends in the countries and products targeted, duty levels applied and the industries making the complaints, indicate the use of anti-dumping as a protectionist measure against rising global competition. Specific sector interests have exploited concerns over falling EU competitiveness, particularly in relation to Asia, to successfully galvanise political support for anti-dumping protectionism.