A bicycle salesman waits for customers in his Beijing shop. [Agencies]
BRUSSELS - The European Union threatened to renew a tariff on bicycles from China for another five years while scrapping similar levies against Vietnam.
The EU said it would reconsider letting lapse the 48.5 percent duty on Chinese bicycles while allowing levies of as much as 34.5 percent on Vietnamese bikes to expire.
The bloc imposed the import taxes in July 2005 to punish Chinese and Vietnamese exporters of bicycles for selling them in Europe below cost, a practice known as dumping. The goal was to help EU producers including Accell Group NV counter a decline in their home-market share.
The review will determine whether the expiry of the duty against China "would be likely, or unlikely, to lead to a continuation of dumping and recurrence injury", the European Commission, the 27-nation EU's trade authority in Brussels, said in the Official Journal. The measure was due to lapse this week along with the levies against Vietnam and will now stay in place during the probe, which can last as long as 15 months.
The investigation results from an April 13 request by the European Bicycle Manufacturers Association, which claims that letting the trade protection against China lapse would likely result in a continuation of dumping by Chinese bike exporters and a recurrence of injury to the EU producers, according to the commission.
European trade protection against Chinese bicycles dates to 1993, when the EU introduced a 30.6 percent anti-dumping duty on imports from the country. The bloc renewed that levy in 2000 before raising it to the current 48.5 percent in 2005 at the same time as introducing anti-dumping duties on imports from Vietnam.