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EU Puts Anti-Dumping Tariff On Chinese Shoes

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

05 October 2006


In a move calculated to infuriate the Chinese authorities, the European Union agreed yesterday to impose 'anti-dumping' duties on shoes from China and Vietnam for a further two years.

Provisional duties had been imposed last March, but expired this week. The new tariffs (lower than the provisional ones, in fact) will be 16.5% on Chinese shoes and 10% on Vietnamese shoes.

Reportedly, Peter Mandelson, EU trade commissioner, had pushed for a 5-year tariff as requested by Italy, the country most at risk from cheap imports, but finally accepted a 2-year period as proposed by France.

The UK voted against the measure; but abstentions from Malta, Cyprus, Austria and Slovenia (which count as votes in favour) were enough to swing the result in favour of the duties.

China threatened last March to take the EU to the World Trade Organisation over the issue, but held back pending the outome of the October EU talks. Now it will probably take action.

EU shoe importers said that the tariffs helped no-one, and will simply 'shield inefficient manufacturers from global competition' to the detriment of consumers.

Ironically, Peter Mandelson was due to unveil a pro-consumer review of anti-dumping measures yesterday.

According to the Chinese, 98% of enterprises in China's shoe making sector are privately run firms or joint ventures, and the State intervention claimed by the EU as a justification for its duties simply does not exist.


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