Page last updated at 11:41 GMT, Friday, 7 April 2006 12:41 UK

EU imposes Asian shoe penalties

Chinese shoe store
Chinese shoe exports to the EU are worth 241m euros (168m)

The EU has begun imposing duties of up to 20% on imports of shoes from China and Vietnam.

The European Commission says leather shoe manufacturers in the Far East are receiving unfair government subsidies.

China denies the accusation, saying the EU does not want to open up its markets to competition.

The move is supported by EU nations with large shoe industries such as Italy, but others such as the UK fear it could increase prices for consumers.

The European Commission says it has "identified clear evidence of disguised subsidies and unfair state intervention to the leather footwear sector in China and Vietnam".

It is concerned that a wave of cut-price imports could force European shoemakers out of the market.

The tariffs will initially be relatively low, but will be ramped up steadily over the next five months. In the case of China, they could rise to nearly 20%.

Divisions

The move has wholehearted support from countries such as Italy and Portugal, who are anxious to protect their shoe manufacturers.

But other member states, such as the UK, oppose them because they are likely to push up prices for consumers, and could mean lower sales for retailers.

China has urged the EU to reconsider its action, saying the planned measures are unfair.

Chinese officials say there is no evidence of dumping and question whether the duties conform with World Trade Organization rules.

China exported 1.2bn pairs of shoes to Europe last year, while Vietnam exported 265m pairs.

video and audio news
Hear why the EU has imposed the tariffs




FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific