[DEBATE] : EU business, consumer groups slate anti-dumping duties on Chinese shoes
Riaz K Tayob
riazt at iafrica.com
Fri Oct 6 09:34:21 BST 2006
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UPDATED: 10:56, October 05, 2006
EU business, consumer groups slate anti-dumping duties on Chinese shoes
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European business and consumer groups on Wednesday criticized the
European Union (EU) for its decision to impose anti-dumping duties on
Chinese and Vietnamese shoes, saying it will harm both consumers and
"This is a sad day for Europe. The decision to impose anti- dumping
duties on Chinese and Vietnamese shoes is anti-consumers, anti-trade and
anti-competitiveness," said EuroCommerce and the European Consumers'
Organization in a joint statement.
The two organizations represent European retail, wholesale and
international trade sectors and consumers.
EU member states on Wednesday struck a compromise deal to introduce
permanent anti-dumping duties on Chinese and Vietnamese leather shoes as
Under the deal, Chinese and Vietnamese shoes will face tariffs of 16.5
percent and 10 percent respectively for two years.
In the joint statement, the two organizations said consumers will have
to pay higher prices as a result of this anti-dumping measure.
"Despite best efforts and an extremely competitive retail market in the
EU, no company can digest the new duties without increasing prices in
the shops," said the statement.
The immediate effect of the measure also makes long-term planning
impossible as importers and retailers need one-year predictability to
plan their sourcing, it said.
In addition, the new anti-dumping duties shelter uncompetitive
producers, do not create one single job, make consumers poorer and hurt
companies. They also worsen the EU-China trade relationship, it said.
"Europe's future is in innovative value-added products, not in
The footwear case has clearly proved the need for a radical overhaul of
the old-fashioned EU anti-dumping law, to make the system more
transparent, predictable and balanced, said the statement.
The Foreign Trade Association (FTA), which has trading companies as
members in nearly all European countries, also attacked Wednesday's
decision of the EU member states.
"This is a major disappointment for European retailers and a serious
blow to European consumers," said FTA Secretary General Jan Eggert on
Wednesday in a press release.
"The measures that will now be imposed will not benefit the European
manufacturing industry but could very likely lead to job losses to
retailers and importers and an increase in consumer prices."
The deal were approved by the slightest margin at a meeting of permanent
representatives of the 25 EU nations in Brussels. Nine countries voted
in favor and 12 were against, with four countries abstaining. Under EU
law, abstentions in such cases count as in favor of the proposal as they
do not oppose it.
The FTA expressed reservations over the way the decision was made,
calling the voting system "a peculiarity."
"This type of wheeling and dealing involved in implementing European
Commission legislation such as anti-dumping duties must stop," commented
"This decision will affect millions of ordinary consumers across the
European Union. The way in which it has been taken is an illustration of
just how necessary the current review of the Anti-Dumping Regulation is
and I hope, for the benefit of those consumers, that the Commission
considers our views seriously," said Eggert.
The anti-dumping measures will become official after adoption by EU
interior and justice ministers on Thursday in Luxembourg and will
replace the six-month temporary tariffs put in place in April 2006. The
voting in Luxembourg is mere formality.
The deal was able to be approved after France revised a European
Commission proposal, under which the same tariff rates would be in place
for five years.
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