EC poised to propose extension of anti-dumping duties on Chinese shoes: source

14:36, October 09, 2009      

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The European Commission (EC) is poised to propose an extension of anti-dumping duties on Chinese leather shoes, risking a renewed trade war with China, an industry source said on Thursday.

"I have no doubt that the commission will propose an extension," the source, who has been deeply involved in the case, told Xinhua.

He said there are some big European Union (EU) member states, such as Italy and Spain, which would like to see the duties to stay, although most EU countries are opposed to the move.

Despite the opposition, the commission is still expected to propose an extension of the duties, which needs a simple majority support from EU member states to take effect, the source said.

But the commission is likely to propose an extension of 15 months to 2 years, instead of 5 years in usual case, he said.

The EU decided three years ago to levy anti-dumping duties up to 16.5 percent on imports of Chinese leather shoes as from Oct. 7,2006. The decision had split the EU and was criticized by EU retailers and consumers. As a compromise, the penalty measures were originally set for 2 years, instead of 5 years.

However, the commission launched a review to decide whether to continue the measures when they should have expired in October 2008. During the review period which usually lasts 12 to 15 months, the duties remained to be in effect.

In a non-binding poll of 27 EU member states at that time, 15 voted to end the measures with 12 in favor of retaining them.

But the source warned there must be political horse trading among EU governments when they are faced with the commission's proposal, so it is difficult to predict the result.

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