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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

European Union states agreed on Wednesday to impose tariffs on Chinese and Vietnamese shoe imports for two years to prevent cheap imports from flooding local markets.
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 proposal to impose tariffs for up to five years. However, most nations on Wednesday agreed a compromise of two years, a Finnish diplomat said.
The European Commission asked EU member states to back anti-dumping duties alleging that China and Vietnam broke World Trade Organization rules by subsidizing shoe manufacturers and selling below-cost goods in Europe.
Both nations reject 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 additional 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.
Half of the 2.5 billion pairs of shoes sold in the EU last year came from China. Only 174 million pairs fall into the category that faces the extra charges.
Imports of Chinese leather shoes jumped tenfold between 2001 and 2005, the EU said. Average import prices fell 31 percent over the period.
Vietnam supplies fewer shoes _ 265 million pairs last year, 103 million of which would face duties. Leather shoe imports doubled between 2001 and 2005, the EU said. Average import prices for Vietnamese shoes fell 20 percent during the period, while retail prices have remained stable or risen slightly.


Updated : 2021-07-30 16:59 GMT+08:00