The European Commission has proposed extending anti-dumping duties on EU imports of Chinese and Vietnamese shoes for at least 15 months in a compromise to appease Beijing and global shoemakers, a document showed.
“The anti-dumping measures on leather footwear should be maintained,” the document obtained by Reuters on Monday said.
“The investigation showed that there is a likelihood of continuation of injury for the short/medium term, until the process of adjustment of the Community (EU) industry has been completed. The duration of the measures should therefore be limited to 15 months.”
To try to avert another so-called “shoe war” with member states and further damaging already tense economic relations with China, the Commission — which oversees EU trade policy — has proposed the 15-month extension instead of the normal five-year term for what are known as “definitive duties”.
The duties of 16.5% on Chinese shoes and 10% on those made in Vietnam must be approved by a majority of the EU's 27 governments, but most countries oppose extending the duties, diplomats involved in the case told Reuters.
Austria, Belgium, Britain, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands and Sweden still want the duties scrapped immediately, sending a positive message before the lucrative Christmas retail period, the EU diplomat said. Major shoe-producing members Italy, Spain, France and Poland want to keep the duties.
Companies and industry bodies affected by the proposal have been given until Nov. 3 to respond to the proposal before EU trade officials discuss the matter at a meeting of the bloc's antidumping committee later in November, before a full vote by ministers in December.