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Shoe exports hit by European tariffs
Latest Updated by 2006-04-14 18:01:48
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>>>Click into special report: 99th Chinese Export Commodities Fair

China's shoe exports are likely to be hit this year by anti-dumping tariffs imposed by the European Union (EU), according to a senior trade official.

The tariffs have hit orders for leather shoes at the 99th Chinese Export Commodities Fair (CECF), due to open this weekend in Guangzhou, according to Xu Bing, deputy secretary-general for the exhibition.

He said that deals signed with EU buyers were expected to decrease.

The EU officially launched a 4.8 per cent provisional tariff on imports of Chinese leather shoes recently, claiming these products were sold on the EU market at prices below the cost of making them.

The European Commission said it had "clear evidence of disguised subsidies and unfair state intervention in the leather footwear sector in China and Viet Nam."

The tariffs will gradually increase to nearly 20 per cent by October.

Many domestic footwear companies have joined together to defend their sales to Europe.

Xinhua News Agency reported that more than 150 shoemakers in China formed an alliance earlier this month, jointly raising 3 million yuan (US5,000) to contest the EU's decision.

Fifteen companies were selected to form an executive committee to lead the alliance's fight against the EU's dumping claim.

The alliance will argue exports have not harmed the European shoemaking industry.

If they succeed the European Commission will cancel the current punitive duties collected from made-in-China shoes. If they fail, the duties will continue for at least a year.

It is not the first time that participants at the CECF have suffered from trade protectionism from abroad.

A previous well-known target was China's textile industry, which was criticised last year.

The United States last year adopted safeguard measures against imports of Chinese textiles and garments, restricting the annual growth of imports for certain Chinese textile products to under 7.5 per cent.

When the 98th session of the CECF was held last October, the two governments had not yet reached an agreement over textile products.

According to statistics from the commerce ministry, contracted garment exports to the US stood at US.5 billion at the last session, down 13.8 per cent from the 96th show in the autumn of 2004.

US visitors to the textile section have declined sharply and contracts with US buyers have dropped by 38.3 per cent from the 96th session.

CECF, the largest export exhibition of China, attracts foreign buyers from all over the world, who place both short-term orders for the coming months and long-term ones for future years.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China Daily Website
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