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AEDT calls for end to antidumping duty on footwear
18
Nov '09
Ahead of the decisive meeting on 19 November, AEDT calls on the EU Member States to vote against the proposal of the European Commission to extend for 15 months the anti-dumping duties on leather footwear from China (16.5%) and Vietnam (10%).

The Commission fails to demonstrate that dumping is occurring and that the Community industry is suffering continued injury. The Commission proposal is not based on objective findings but looks like another unjustifiable political compromise which has nothing to do with reality.

Indeed, such extension would just favour a very limited and unrepresentative sample of less competitive EU producers while hundreds of thousands of European importers, retailers, suppliers and consumers would continue to be severely hit by the protectionist “import taxes” on leather shoes.

In this regard, AEDT fully shares the views of The European Consumer Organisation BEUC, which recently stated: “Facing already tough economic times, European consumers do not need an extension of the duties, artificially inflating consumer prices, but their removal. A decision to continue antidumping duties on Chinese and Vietnamese shoes is anti-consumer, anti-trade and anti-competition”.

The duties have just increased the imports from other third countries. The outsourced mass production of footwear is not going back to Europe and, as a matter of fact, it is not in competition with the high-end of the market shoe manufacturing which takes place within the European Union. This is also demonstrated by the fact that the market share of European footwear producers has remained stable.

A prolongation of the duties would undermine the trade relations of the EU with China and Vietnam to the detriment of EU exporting companies and would significantly worsen the risk of a disastrous downward spiral into protectionism in the footwear sector.

Since 2006, the EU footwear industry has paid over 800 million Eur in anti-dumping duties. Under the current rules, abstentions would be counted as votes in favour of the proposed extension of the duties. AEDT calls on the Member States to expressly reject the proposal of the Commission, terminating these unacceptable and groundless “import taxes” on EU families and businesses.

The termination of the duties would be in the interest of a truly competitive European industry, inject momentum into consumer demand and therefore boost the economy in times of economic crisis.

European Association of Fashion Retailers

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