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EU to end long-standing anti-dumping taxes against China

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(BRUSSELS) - The European Commission on Wednesday signalled the end of long-standing anti-dumping taxes levied against Chinese and Vietnamese shoes, ending a corrosive trading row between China and Europe.

"The commission gives notice that the anti-dumping measure ... will shortly expire," the EU's executive arm said in the European Union's daily official journal.

"No request for a review was lodged," for the punitive taxes to be re-imposed after they expire on March 31, the official journal noted.

The penalty taxes were first applied more than three years ago in retaliation against Asian footwear being sold in Europe at below production cost.

The anti-dumping measures in the EU -- home to half a billion people -- have carried import duties of 16.5 percent levied on Chinese shoes with leather uppers and 10 percent on the same kind of shoes from Vietnam.

The measures were first introduced in retaliation for Asian footwear being sold in Europe at below production cost.

The taxes were extended for 15 months in late 2009.

Last year China lodged a complaint against the European Union at the World Trade Organisation over the issue.

There has also been a European faultline running between its economically liberal north, hostile in principle to anti-dumping measures, and the more protectionist south, sympathetic to fears that cheap Chinese imports could undermine EU producers.

Bigger manufacturers that make their shoes in Asia such as Diesel, Adidas and Puma are also fighting against the renewal of the shoe tariffs.

The European Commission stressed, in the official organ, that it considers it "appropriate to monitor for one year the evolution of the imports of footwear with uppers of leather" originating from China and Vietnam "with a view to facilitate swift, appropriate action should the situation so require."

The European Footwear Alliance, which represent manufacturers, welcomed the end of the anti-dumping taxes in a statement while adding that it too would remain "vigilant" to see how imports progress.

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