Trying to stop the explosive growth in imports of leather shoes from Vietnam and Chine the EU-commission propose to limit the numbers of shoes entering the union.
The solutions is made in from of a quota system, where shoe-producers are given a licence to import a certain number of shoes, when that number is reached, the excess shoes will be imposed with an import duty. For shoes produces in Vietnam the duty is 29 percent, while shoes from China get away with a 23 percent tax.
Contrary to the temporary tax imposed in April, the commission wants these restrictions to apply until 2011 – or longer.
The European-commission thinks – as well as South-European producers that the China and Vietnam “dump” government funded shoes on to the European market.
But in Scandinavia producers and retailers are angered by the proposal, as they to a higher degree import or manufacture shoes from/in China or Vietnam, thus resulting in the tax affecting them directly.
As the duty first was introduced in April the duties met heavy resistance from the Nordic countries, including Denmark where the Deputy PM in March voiced his concern over the anti-dumping measures, specifically against Vietnam.
“Anti-dumping measures by European Union against shoe products from Vietnam will have a very negative effect. It will harm European consumers as well as the more advanced producers. In the end, the cost will be paid by the consumers,” said Bendt Bendtsen.
And the permanent proposal is now revealed the criticism continues. Danish industrial organizations are disappointed with the proposal, as it is thought that import limitations were something belonging in the past.
“It is disappointing that EU changed its mind and turn back time to the early days of protectionism,” Linda Henriksen from the international-trade-department of Danish Trade and Service says to Jyllands-Posten.
Poor families take a hit
Another new addition to the proposal has also stirred anger, as the new proposal also include children shoes in the taxation. So far children’s shoes have been relieved of duties out of consideration of the poor families with children in EU.
The quotas are said to be 140 million leather shoes from China and 95 million from Vietnam, which is equal to EU’s total import from the entire world in 2005.
The temporary solution, taxing 16.8 percent on Vietnamese shoes and 19.4 percent on Chinese shoes, ends in October, and the commission has to decide how the final system is going to work before this happens.
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