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Footwear unions in favor of contract, but Brussels opposes

26
Dec '05
During recent meeting with EU Commissioner Peter Mandelson at Aspen Institute, Chairman of ANCI (Associazione Nazionale Calzaturifici Italiani), stressed on behalf of members that European antidumping measures against leather footwear from China and Vietnam, and a compulsory mark of origin on non-EU products must be implemented very urgently.

All sides, both on a political level and by industrialists and unions, supported A.N.C.I.'s position –seeking to protect both enterprises and jobs.

Mandelson's attitude is evasive and gives rise to concern that the EU will not take resolute action to defend its manufacturing industry.

It appears that protecting manufacturing companies and jobs is of secondary interest to Brussels, which seems to come down in favour of the economic interests of retailers' and importers' lobbies.

The situation in the Italian and European footwear industries is worsening day by day.

Very revealing figures were actually supplied by the European Commission itself for ex-post monitoring of EU imports of Chinese footwear released from import quotas on 1st January 2005: an average +525 percent rise in quantity in the first seven months of 2005 for the 32 leather-upper customs codes. The average price per pair (which were very low to start with) plummeted by -27 percent!

A.N.C.I.'s studies department estimates that Italian production of these types of leather footwear will fall in the first half of 2005 by over 15% compared to the first six months in 2004.

Italian firms are not afraid of competition: they have always faced competition by other manufacturing countries (including Brazil and Asian countries).

But they cannot protect themselves against those who, through dumping, use unfair practices with the complacency of a European Commission, which shows it to be increasingly separated from the real interests of European industries and European consumers, said the Chairman.

ANCI (Associazione Nazionale Calzaturifici Italiani)


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