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Last Updated: Monday, 20 February 2006, 13:11 GMT
EU considers Asian shoe tariffs
Worker in Chinese shoe factory
China and Vietnam's shoe exports have surged
The European Union is considering imposing restrictions on imports of shoes from China and Vietnam.

Trade spokesman Peter Power said the EU had found evidence that Chinese and Vietnamese firms were dumping footwear on European markets.

He said anti-dumping measures could begin from 7 April, with some analysts expecting 20% import duties to be slapped on shoes from the countries.

Exports of Chinese and Vietnamese shoes to Europe have surged in recent years.

Mr Power said imports of Chinese leather shoes into Europe rose by 320% in the year to March 2005, while those from Vietnam gained by 700%.

'Improper assistance'

Possible restrictions against the shoe imports could be agreed after EU officials complete meetings with representatives of the 25 EU member states.

"There is evidence of both dumping and injury to the European industry," said Mr Power.

He said that the dumping of footwear in Europe appeared to be fuelled by the actions of the governments in Beijing and Hanoi.

Chinese and Vietnamese state backing "takes the form of cheap finance, non-market land rents, tax breaks and improper asset evaluation, leading to dumping", Mr Power said.

The EU plans to seek talks over the issue with Beijing and Hanoi.

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