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December 28, 2009

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China urged to appeal over EU tariffs on shoes

MAJOR Chinese shoe makers have urged the Chinese government to appeal to the World Trade Organization against the European Union's approval of a 15-month extension of anti-dumping duties on leather shoes.

Wang Zhentao, president of the Aokang Group, China's second-largest shoe maker based in the east Zhejiang Province, said his company and other shoe producers were preparing documents and other material necessary for China's appeal to the WTO.

The EU began levying anti-dumping duties of up to 16.5 percent against Chinese leather shoes on October 5, 2006. Last Tuesday the EU approved the 15-month extension of anti-dumping duties on Chinese and Vietnamese leather shoes.

The Ministry of Commerce said China was "strongly dissatisfied" with EU's decision. Ministry spokesman Yao Jian said China would appeal to the WTO and take measures to protect the rights and interests of Chinese companies.

Wang said he had been waiting for EU's decision in the past few months. "I am really very disappointed at EU's extension of the duties, and I think it harms both Chinese producers and European consumers," Wang said.

"We won't give up. We will fight for our rights," said Wang, whose company has an estimated brand value of US$150 million and ranked No. 39 in Hurun Most Valuable Privately Held Chinese Brands 2009, an evaluation system for Chinese companies established in 1999 by British independent researcher Rupert Hoogewerf.


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