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'EU made wrong decision on shoe industry'
By Dai Yan (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-01-14 05:20

"The fact is that if the EU rules in favour of the anti-dumping charge, most will be hurt," said Chen Guorong, president of Wenzhou-based Dongyi Shoes Co Ltd, which imports shoemaking machinery and materials from Europe.

China imports US$300 million worth of leather and US$50 million worth of shoemaking machinery from Europe annually.

The EU's decision to deny Chinese companies market economy treatment came after efforts by Chinese trade officials to stop the high duty rate.

Gao Hucheng, vice-minister of commerce, had a series of meetings with EU officials and industry representatives this week. He warned that raised duties on shoes could set a dangerous precedent that could damage Sino-European relations.

Europe dropped quotas on Chinese shoes at the start of 2005, and since then imports have surged.

Under its rules, the EU has until early April to impose temporary sanctions and until mid-October to set tariff increases that could stay in place until 2011. Imported shoes currently carry a tariff of less than 10 per cent.

Retail lobby groups said the decision would add up to 10 euros (US$12.05) to the price of a pair of shoes.

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