China said yesterday it was
"dissatisfied" with the approval of anti-dumping duties on Chinese shoes by
European Union (EU) countries.
The EU states agreed on Wednesday to impose tariffs on Chinese and Vietnamese
shoe imports for two years "to prevent cheap imports from flooding local
But Ministry of Commerce spokesman Chong Quan said the filing, the
investigation and the ruling of the case has legal defects that run contrary to
World Trade Organization rules and the EU's own anti-dumping laws.
"The latest EU anti-dumping measures against Chinese shoe imports lack legal
and factual basis and will damage the legitimate rights of Chinese shoe
enterprises," Chong said.
"Chinese enterprises and the shoe-making industry are dissatisfied with the
Chong added that China would monitor and assess the situation, and reserve
the right to take responsive measures.
From tomorrow, the EU will levy an extra charge of 16.5 per cent for shoes
from China and 10 per cent from Viet Nam. Eleven per cent of the shoes sold in
Europe, including children's footwear, are from those two countries.
The European Commission said the ruling could add 1.40 euros (US$1.80) to the
price of Chinese shoes, whose average retail price is 35 euros (US$44.80), if
importers and retailers pass the increase on to customers.
European business and consumer groups criticized the EU's decision, saying it
will harm both consumers and business.
"This is a sad day for Europe," said a joint statement from EuroCommerce and
the European Consumers' Organization, two organizations that represent European
retail, wholesale and international trade sectors and consumers.
"The decision to impose anti-dumping duties on Chinese and Vietnamese shoes
is anti-consumer, anti-trade and anti-competitive.
"Despite best efforts and an extremely competitive retail market in the EU,
no company can digest the new duties without increasing prices in the shops."
It added that the new anti-dumping duties shelter uncompetitive producers, do
not create one job, make consumers poorer and hurt companies. They also worsen
the EU-China trade relationship, it said.
"Europe's future is in innovative value-added products, not in old-fashioned
protectionism," the statement said.
The Foreign Trade Association (FTA), which has trading companies as members
in nearly all European countries, also attacked the decision.
"This is a major disappointment for European retailers and a serious blow to
European consumers," FTA Secretary-General Jan Eggert said in a release.
"The measures that will now be imposed will not benefit the European
manufacturing industry but could very likely lead to job losses to retailers and
importers and an increase in consumer prices."
The decision was approved by a slight margin at a meeting of permanent
representatives of the 25 EU nations in Brussels. Nine countries voted in favour
and 12 were against, with four countries abstaining. Under EU law, abstentions
in such cases count as in favour of the proposal as they do not oppose it.
The FTA expressed reservations over the way the decision was made, calling
the voting system "a peculiarity."
"This type of wheeling and dealing involved in implementing European
Commission legislation such as anti-dumping duties must stop," Eggert said.
"This decision will affect millions of ordinary consumers across the European
Union. The way in which it has been taken is an illustration of just how
necessary the current review of the Anti-Dumping Regulation is, and I hope, for
the benefit of those consumers, that the Commission considers our views
The deal was approved after France revised a European Commission proposal
that would have left the tariff rates in place for five years.
Half of the 2.5 billion pairs of shoes sold in the EU last year came from
China. The extra charges affect about 174 million pairs.