23rd Mar 2017

Brussels proposes tougher line on Asian shoes

  • EU is divided on how to tackle major hikes in Asian shoe imports (Photo: EUobserver)

EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson has proposed a new anti-dumping scheme on shoe imports from China and Vietnam as European footwear producers rejected his earlier plan to exempt a majority of Asian products from projected tariffs.

Under a new proposal, to be considered by EU member states' officials on Thursday (28 July), the bloc would slap a blanket duty of 10 percent on all leather shoe imports from Vietnam and 16.5 percent on Chinese imports.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Mr Mandelson's previous plan - rejected by Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Poland - suggested that 80 percent of Asian imports would be exempted from the tariffs, which are set to be agreed by September and are intended to last for five years.

But the latest proposal has already been met with criticism from the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industries.

"That the Commission put out a second very different proposal in the space of two weeks without even consulting the interested parties is very disconcerting," the sports footwear lobby commented, according to Financial Times.

The EU imposed provisional tariffs of 16.8 percent for Vietnam and 19.4 percent for China in March, but it needs to replace them with definite duties by October.

There is a deep divide between those EU states with major shoe industries who argue that a hike in Asian imports is damaging their producers, and member states with strong retail sectors such as the UK and Sweden who favour a more liberal approach and minimum protective measures.

Retailers claim the newly proposed scheme would bring them into trouble as fierce competition would make it difficult for them to pass additional costs onto consumers, UK daily The Times reported.

But European consumers are set to be affected.

Some categories of footwear, such as children's shoes, would be included under the new anti-dumping scheme while they do not fall under the current interim regime.

The proposed anti-dumping measures come after accusations by the European Commission that Asian countries break international trade rules by using measures such as tax holidays for their national manufacturers.

Brussels pushes ahead on China shoe tariffs

The European Commission has pushed for new measures against leather shoes from China and Vietnam despite member states' representatives having rejected two previous proposals this summer.

14 EU states torpedo plan on cheap Asian shoes

The European Commission is running out of time for setting up an anti-dumping scheme to deal with leather shoes coming from Asia at below-cost prices, after member states experts rejected a second proposal on Thursday.

No EU agreement on Asian shoe dumping

European Union member states failed again to agree on proposed anti-dumping duties on shoes imported from China and Vietnam, leaving it up to EU trade ministers to make a final decision one day before a crucial deadline.

Eurozone chief in 'drinks and women' row

[Updated] The Netherlands' Jeroen Dijsselbloem faces calls for resignation after saying that crisis-hit countries in southern Europe spent "money on drinks and women" before being helped by others.

Stolen Russian billions ended up in EU states

Illicit money flowing out of Russia ended up in almost every single EU state, an investigation has found, posing questions on the integrity of Europe’s banking systems.

News in Brief

  1. Russia invites EU diplomats to occupied Crimea
  2. UK parliament in lockdown after reported attack
  3. Brussels attacks remembered with minute of silence and noise
  4. Magnitsky's lawyer injured near Moscow
  5. Trump to travel to Brussels on 25 May for Nato summit
  6. Polish defence minister accuses Tusk of treason
  7. Fillon slips in polls as new allegations emerge
  8. Brexit summit for EU-27 will be on 29 April

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Advertisements
  2. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  3. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  4. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy
  6. Party of European SocialistsWe Must Renew Europe for All Europeans
  7. MEP Tomáš ZdechovskýThe European Commission Has Failed in Its Fight Against Food Waste
  8. ILGA-EuropeEP Recognises Discrimination Faced by Trans & Intersex People
  9. Nordic Council of Ministers25 Nordic Bioeconomy Cases for Sustainable Change
  10. Malta EU 2017Consumer Protection Laws to Be Strengthened by EU-Wide Cooperation
  11. European Free AllianceSupporting Artur Mas: Democracy and Freedom Cannot Be Convicted
  12. UNICEFSyria Conflict 6 Years On: Children's Suffering at Its Worst

Latest News

  1. EU declaration to voice unity in troubled times
  2. Terror attack shuts down UK parliament
  3. Catalonia and Scotland at core of Europe's geopolitical conundrum
  4. La présidentielle française sous cyber-alerte maximale
  5. EU doing well in global energy ranking
  6. Child migrants endure 'abysmal conditions'
  7. French socialist woos Europe with new vision
  8. EU to Macedonia: 'Stop playing with fire'