EU greenlights anti-dumping duties on Chinese light bulbs
(LUXEMBOURG) - The European Union approved on Monday a one-year extension of anti-dumping duties running as high as 66 percent on Chinese-made, energy-saving light bulbs.
"The measures are aimed at addressing unfair competitive advantages resulting from the dumping of imports onto the (EU) market," the 27-nation bloc said in a statement issued at a foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg.
The decision came despite a high-level EU drive to use more low-energy light bulbs and a push from Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson to let the six-year-old duties lapse when they were due to expire this month.
German lighting company Osram, a subsidiary of Siemens, led efforts to renew the duties because they hit Dutch rival Philips harder than Osram and even though both companies produce in China, EU officials said earlier this year.
The duties also cover imports of energy-saving light bulbs from Pakistan, the Philippines and Vietnam so as to prevent Chinese producers from passing their exports through those countries.
The duties have proved highly controversial and their renewal has been attacked by free-trade supporters and environmentalists alike.
A lawyer for specialist Italian lighting company Targetti said Monday that the group, which makes and imports light bulbs from China, was going to challenge the duties before the European Court of Justice.
More generally, booming Chinese exports have frequently divided the European Union between those eager for cheap consumer products and those who want to keep them out in order to protect European jobs.