EU signals end of anti-dumping duties against Chinese shoes

09:49, March 17, 2011      

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The European Commission on Wednesday signaled an end of the controversial anti-dumping duties slapped more than four years ago on shoes imported from China and Vietnam.

"The commission gives notice that the anti-dumping measure ... will shortly expire" since "no request for a review was lodged," the European Union (EU)'s executive arm said in its official journal.

The anti-dumping measures were now set to expire by the end of this month.

The EU first introduced anti-dumping duties of up to 16.5 percent against Chinese leather shoes for two years in October 2006, a decision widely criticized by EU retailers and consumers since the punitive taxes pushed up shoe prices in the European markets.

A similar move was taken at the same time against shoes imported from Vietnam.

Brussels temporarily reimposed the tariff pending a review launched in October 2008 when the penalty duties should have expired, despite opposition from the majority of member states.

During the review period which usually lasts 12 to 15 months, the duties remained in effect.

In December 2009, the review ended with an extension of the anti-dumping duties by another 15 months. The decision was a compromise among divided EU member states since the definite anti-dumping duties usually last five years.

Countries led by Britain and Northern European countries were largely against the anti-dumping measure, calling for free trade to the benefits of consumers, while Italy, Spain and other Southern European countries, home to small and less competitive shoe makers which lodged the complaint, were in favor of it.

Bigger and more competitive manufacturers such as Adidas and Puma, which have plants in China, were also opposed to the duties.

But the European Commission warned it would monitor for one year the evolution of the imports of shoes from China and Vietnam, with a view to facilitate swift appropriate action should the situation so require.

Source: Xinhua
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