The Federation of European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) launched a legal action at the European General Court to challenge the extension of the anti-dumping duties on the imports of leather footwear made in Vietnam and China.
FESI believes that the EU's decision to extend the duties for a further 15 months in December 2009 was based on an inappropriate investigation and a flawed analysis of the facts. FESI considers that the measures only succeed in hurting European businesses and consumers.
"The decision to go ahead with this action has only been taken after long and careful consideration, it is not something we do lightly" said Mr Horst Widmann, President of FESI. "However we feel passionately that these measures hurt our European businesses and end up taking money out of consumers' pockets. We have taken this case to court not only because we firmly believe that these duties are unjustified but also because it is clear to us that the European Commission is ignoring the basic economic realities of the footwear business.
The anti-dumping duties on leather footwear imports were first introduced in 2006 and are estimated by FESI to have taken Euro 1 billion in duties up to the present day.
On 4 February China requested WTO consultations with the EU over its decisions to impose and extend the duties. This is only the second time that China has decided to take the EU through WTO trade dispute settlement procedures.
The Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry