'EU shoe tariffs will affect jobs' - Chinese Ministry
(China Daily)
Updated: 2006-10-10 11:22

The European Union's decision to impose anti-dumping tariffs on imports of Chinese leather shoes is expected to affect 70,000 jobs in China, according to an official at China's Ministry of Commerce.

The European Union's 16.5 per cent tariff on China-made shoes, which came into effect on Saturday, would affect Chinese exports worth US$730 million and over 70,000 Chinese jobs, said Lu Jianhua, director of the ministry's foreign trade department.

He said the country's footwear exports to the European Union had been affected since the economic bloc began to impose temporary tariffs on Chinese leather shoes in April.

The European Union voted last week to slap a 16.5 per cent tariff on shoes made in China and a 10 per cent levy on those made in Viet Nam for two years, claiming that companies from the two countries dumped their products in the EU market.

In its latest comments, the government restated its dissatisfaction with the EU decision.

"China isn't dumping shoes in Europe," said an unnamed official at Ministry of Commerce's fair trade bureau.

He said the EU anti-dumping measure disturbs a long-term trade relationship, adding that it will be difficult for the European shoe firms investing in China to avoid suffering losses.

The official added that the decision violated the World Trade Organization's principles of free and fair trade.

"China's shoe industry is a competitive sector and most shoe exporters are either private or foreign-invested enterprises," he said. "They cannot afford to sell at prices below their costs."

The measure was passed by a vote of 13-12, which reflected the intensity of the debate within the European Union.

The ministry official said China's growing shoe exports to the EU market are a result of the Chinese industry's competitive advantages and European manufacturers losing their advantages both in terms of costs and technology.