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EFA deeply disappointed with EU Member States' vote

22
Dec '09
The European Footwear Alliance is deeply disappointed with the extension of the antidumping duties on footwear imports from China and Vietnam for a further 15 months as of January 2010.

Today's vote by EU Ministers is the final nail in the coffin of an agreement reached by Member States in 2006 to end the anti-dumping measures after 2 years. It also lays to rest any lingering notion that the European Union still intends to fight protectionism. It is deeply disappointing that both the European Commission and a certain number of our elected representatives have failed to keep their word.

The last-minute horse-trading and back room deals which have become characteristic of the EU's opaque trade policy will result in payment of anti-dumping duties well in excess of 1 billion Euros for European footwear businesses, which will ultimately be paid for by EU consumers.

“The continuation of the anti-dumping duties on footwear for another 15 months is completely unacceptable. It shows that, despite all the public rhetoric, the EU prefers to follow its protectionist course at the expense of successful European footwear businesses and consumers. Economic logic and due process have been utterly disregarded throughout this case. Our only hope left is that this time round, the EU will actually honour its commitment to end these onerous duties after 15 months and not a day more,” said Manfred Junkert, Director of the Federation of the German Footwear Industry.

The Commission has promised that the duties will not be extended beyond 15 months. However, we have seen no written evidence of this undertaking. We call on the Commission to provide us with a cast iron guarantee that it will honour its commitment.

This is all the more important as those Member States which abstained in the final vote did so on the strict understanding that the measures would be definitively terminated after 15 months.

The European Footwear Alliance will continue to fight for the principles of free trade and is exploring every legal option to challenge this unjust outcome.

European Footwear Alliance


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