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EU urged to remove anti-dumping duty on shoes from Vietnam & China

16
Sep '08
EuroCommerce, BEUC and AEDT urge the EU to terminate the antidumping duties currently levied on leather shoe imports from China and Vietnam. The European Commission and the Member States are due to take this decision on Wednesday, 17 September 2008.

After 14 years of quotas and antidumping duties, the EU should now refrain from granting a further extension of protectionist duties at the request of companies who have failed to adapt to the challenges and opportunities of open markets.

“In a time when overall prices are increasing, do we really need further increases, which are wholly artificial and unjustified?” asked Monique Goyens, BEUC Director General. “For European consumers, the prolongation of the footwear duties would put a further strain on their purchasing power. This would particularly hit low income households,” she added.

“Imposing higher prices on consumers by way of anti-dumping duties is inherently inefficient. In the current case, we fear that the duties are anti-competitive, anti-consumer and protectionist,” commented Xavier Durieu, EuroCommerce Secretary
General.

On top of the higher costs (16.5% for leather shoes from China and 10% for Vietnam), traders are also damaged by the lack of clarity attached to such duties. Even today, less than one month ahead of 8th October, the foreseen expiry date of the duties, traders have no concrete information – merely rumours. Such lack of predictability creates an untenable situation for importers who order merchandise months in advance.

They are left in a position where they must gamble on hearsay. Such conditions make it impossible for businesses to properly plan ahead and highlight the urgent need for more transparency in the EU trade defence system.

“It is regrettable that under the current EU anti-dumping procedures, expiry reviews result de facto in an automatic extension of the duties (usually fifteen months). Expiry reviews are most often requested simply to prolong the duration of the measures”, said Sjang van Hout, Chairman of AEDT Footwear.

From a development point of view, these duties are particularly harmful for Vietnam. After the recent withdrawal of the EU trade preferences for footwear, the continuation of antidumping duties would be another regrettable setback for the industry in this developing country.

AEDT - European Association of Fashion Retailers


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