Exporters look to put brakes on Europe's Chinese bicycle duty

08:31, November 12, 2010      

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China's top machinery and electronic products chamber on Thursday appealed for the government to take measures against the European Union (EU) to help end a 17-year-long anti-dumping tariff on Chinese bicycles.

The EU launched a review of the 48.5 percent tariff in July, and is now in the process of deciding whether to extend the measure for a further five years, following a request from the European Bicycle Manufacturers' Association.

The anti-dumping measure, which was initiated in 2000, lapsed in July, but will stay in place for the duration of the probe which could last as long as 15 months.

"Without help from government, the chance of Chinese companies winning the case is slim. After failing twice, many companies have already given up responding to the charges," said Zhang Peisheng, senior commissioner with China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products.

"The aim of the EU, which is both the plaintiff and judge in the case, was to help its producers counter a decline in their home-market share. The government should step in and put more pressure on the EU to stop its trade protectionism."

Zhang added that if the government fails to act, the EU might impose measures on other Chinese goods to help foster recovery in its domestic industries.

European trade protection against Chinese bicycles dates back to 1993 when a 30.6 percent anti-dumping duty was imposed. The bloc renewed that levy in 2000 before raising it to the current level of 48.5 percent in 2005.

Guo Haiyan, vice-secretary general with the China Bicycle Association, said the "virtual embargo" of bicycles from China over the past two decades had caused losses of more than $3 billion to Chinese manufacturers and stripped the country of millions of jobs.

China is the world's largest exporter of bicycles, shipping about 29 million units worth 100 million yuan in the first half of this year. Shipments to other countries have increased significantly over the past decade, while exports to the EU fell from 3 million units in 1992 to 720,000 in 2009.

Source:China Daily


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