Sweden Vetoes Five-Year Tariffs On Vietnamese Shoes

The Swedish-led veto of five-year duties may force proponents of protection to accept an alternative plan that would impose anti-dumping duties on shoe shipments that exceed quotas.
The rejection leaves the EU without a plan for when provisional measures expire on October 7.
On the other side, protectionist member countries such as France, Italy, Spain, Poland and Portugal, have been dissatisfied with earlier duties proposed by EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson.
“Antidumping measures are extremely sensitive and member states have different views on the subject,” said Peter Power, a European Commission spokesman. “Our job now is to see if there’s a way out of this. There are no guarantees this is achievable.”
Vietnam’s shipments to Europe between 2001 and the 12 months through March 2005, boosting the country’s share of the European market to 14 percent from 7 percent, according to the commission.
The EU scrapped World Trade Organization-backed quotas on Vietnamese shoes in January 2005, leading to further surges in imports.
“Any new EU cap on footwear imports would be a disadvantage for Vietnamese manufacturers,” said Tran Duc Minh, a deputy trade minister according to Bloomberg.
“Why should we agree with export limitation? We are trying to increase our exports every year. It will be very difficult to boost exports” if EU governments approve a quota, he continued.
The commission, the EU’s trade authority, agreed on March 22 to phase in the punitive tariffs to a maximum16.8 percent over five months on shipments from Vietnam. The current duties cover 9 percent of the shoes sold in the EU and are on top of customs duties of 7.5 percent.
Under EU rules, the commission can impose provisional anti-dumping duties for six months and the bloc’s national governments can turn those measures into “definitive” five- year levies at the same or different rates. Definitive measures require the backing of a majority of EU nations.

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