China on Tuesday criticised proposed new EU curbs
on Chinese-made leather shoes as unacceptable and a violation of world trade
The European Commission, the European Union's executive arm, plans to
recommend a quota-based system for imports of leather shoes from China and
Vietnam, according to EU diplomats.
The so-called deferred duties system would replace preliminary anti-dumping
taxes introduced in April after countries with shoe industries of their own, led
by Italy, complained the imports were being dumped in the bloc.
Mei Xinyu, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and
Economic Cooperation, a Ministry of Commerce think tank, called the new proposal
just as objectionable as the initial dumping ruling.
"The only reasonable thing for the EU to do is to end the anti-dumping
duties," Mei said.
Under the new plan, the EU would levy normal duties on 140 million pairs of
leather shoes each year from China and slap punitive duties of 23 percent on
imports beyond that level.
Chinese officials have rejected the idea of such a quota-based system, saying
it would be incompatible with the World Trade Organisation, which China joined
China has suggested it could turn to the WTO's dispute-settlement body over
"China has made great efforts to fulfil its WTO commitments, and the EU
should also keep its promises," Mei said.
Zhou Wei, a spokesman for Aokang, a big shoe manufacturer based in the
eastern city of Wenzhou, said the new proposal was unacceptable and
fundamentally no different from the preliminary anti-dumping measures.
One of China's main complaints is that the European Union does not regard it
as a market economy. Without that status, Chinese exporters are more vulnerable
to EU duties because the commission considers costs in other countries -- where
they are often higher than in China -- when calculating if goods are being
dumped in Europe.
"We will continue to fight for market economy status for our company and for
the whole shoe-manufacturing industry of China, together with other Chinese shoe
producers," Zhou said.
Aokang, which sends more than 70 percent of its shoe exports to the 25-member
EU, has already spent more than 2 million yuan (US$250,000) on legal advisers in
Aokang is a member of a coalition of Chinese shoe manufacturers that has been
to Brussels to lobby the Commission. An official with the group said on Tuesday
the consortium would continue to negotiate with the EU.