China's Ministry of Commerce has labeled Thursday's decision by the European Union to levy provisional anti-dumping duties on Chinese leather shoes as "groundless".
The European Union announced the tax would come into effect from April 7 but the ministry's spokesman Chong Quan said China's export of shoes does not constitute dumping.
"China, with its low cost of labor, has a comparative advantage in shoe manufacture," he said.
The European Union lifted its quota restriction on Chinese shoes on Jan. 1, 2005 upon China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). After only a year, it has started the measures that are designed to protect its own interests. This action completely contradicts the current trend of free trade the WTO Doha talks, and indeed the EU's own interests in general, Chong continued.
Even some major EU members publicly oppose this decision, he added.
The EU's actions are not objective because 98 percent of China's shoe manufacturers are privately-owned and foreign-funded companies, he said.
China requires the EU to treat Chinese enterprises carefully and conduct thorough and reasonable analysis in order to make judgement in accordance with WTO rules and ensure the normal development of the Sino-EU shoe trade, he said.