CHINA / National

Chinese shoemakers ally to battle EU tariffs
Updated: 2006-04-03 09:30

More than 150 Chinese shoemakers have formed an alliance against the European Union's anti-dumping duties and jointly raised 3 million yuan (US$375,000).

The European Commission announced last week that it would impose anti-dumping duties on leather shoes from China and Vietnam, despite only three countries voting in favor of the duties, 10 against and 11 abstaining.

The duties on Chinese shoes will start at 4 percent from Friday and rise to 19.4 percent in the following six months.

However, children's shoes and high-tech sports shoes will be excluded from the tariffs.

China has rejected the duties as unjustified and a violation of free trade.

Though the duties will be tentative, it is very possible that they may last for five years, Wu Zhenchang, president of Panyu Chuangxin Shoes Group in south China's Guangdong Province, told Xinhua.

Wu said in today's highly globalized international market, the 19.4 percent anti-dumping duties will not only drag China's shoemakers down but also drive customers to the nation's competitors.

"The high duties will snatch the order forms of the European importers from China's shoemakers and thrust them into the hands of those in Thailand and Malaysia and in the long term, Eastern European and Indian shoemakers will also become strong rivals," Wu said.

Fighting for legal interests of their own, more than 150 shoemakers in China formed the alliance and selected 15 member companies to form an executive committee to fight further against the anti-dumping move.

The alliance said it disagrees with the EC's decision to treat Chinese shoemakers as state-nurtured companies and not as freely competing market players, and the conclusion that the EU's footwear industry has suffered losses due to imports of Chinese footwear.