Our latest Trade and Development Discussion Paper (No. 01/2012, of March 2012) analyses the motives behind the EU's use of trade defence instruments. We find that the strongest case for TDI is based on an implicit “insurance” role. The EU, like other WTO Members, in liberalizing access to its market under conditions of imperfect information and an absence of appropriate insurance markets, de facto uses TDI as a form of insurance policy to deal with disruptive pressures. This perspective on TDI reconciles trade liberalization with the occasional recourse to protection.