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EU states agree two-year tariffs on Chinese and Vietnamese shoe imports

EU states agree two-year tariffs on Chinese and Vietnamese shoe imports

EU states ended a bitter row Wednesday by agreeing to impose tariffs on Chinese and Vietnamese shoe imports for two years.
The duties will be levied from Friday on 11 out of every 100 pair of leather shoes sold in Europe, replacing higher, temporary duties in place since April.
EU governments were split on measures to protect European industry from cheap imports and could not agree on an earlier plan to impose tariffs for up to five years.
However, most nations on Wednesday allowed through a compromise plan that brings that down to two years, said a Finnish diplomat.
The European Commission asked them to back anti-dumping duties after it found evidence that both governments broke World Trade Organization rules by subsidizing shoe manufacturers and selling below-cost goods in Europe.
The two Asian nations have rejected the charges and accuse the EU of protectionism.
The Commission said European footwear production has shrunk by 30 percent since 2001 with the loss of 40,000 jobs, as shoe imports surged.
However, retailers and importers claim that European consumers benefit from cheaper trade and extra duties would burden them with extra costs. European firms that outsource labor-intensive manufacturing to Asia _ such as Ecco and Timberland _ said they would also be unfairly caught by tariffs meant to target Asian shoemakers.
China supplied half of the 2.5 billion pairs of shoes sold in the EU last year _ only 174 million pairs of these fall in the category that faces the extra charges. Overall, imports of Chinese leather shoes jumped ten-fold from 2001 to 2005, the EU said. Average import prices fell 31 percent over this period, it said.
Vietnam supplies far fewer shoes _ 265 million pairs last year _ and 103 million of them are of the type that would face duties. Leather shoe imports increased 100 percent from 2001 to 2005, the EU said, but Vietnam has recently lost ground to China with imports falling by 2.1 percent in the last two years. Average import prices fell 20 percent, the EU said.
However, actual consumer prices for the shoes at stake have remained stable or risen slightly in the past four years, it said.


Updated : 2021-05-16 18:24 GMT+08:00