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China regrets EU decision to review anti-dumping duties on shoes
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China expressed regret over the European Union's (EU) decision to launch a sunset review of anti-dumping duties on leather shoes from the country, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on its website on Friday.

It opposed the extension of the anti-dumping measures inflicted on the made-in-China shoes by any means, the ministry said.

A split EU decided two years ago to levy anti-dumping duties up to 16.5 percent on imports of Chinese shoes from October 7, 2006. The original measures should last two years and expire soon, but the review would decide whether to extend them.

The ministry said the measures were not based on legal foundation or fact. They were even controversial within the EU.

Considering the strong protests within the body, the EU slashed the years effective from five to two. The measures should be halted after the punitive duties have served for two years, the ministry said.

Long protected by import quotas, the EU has already completed its industry restructuring with the help of those anti-dumping measures. There is no need to extend the protection as the EU is quite competitive and enjoys sound prospects on shoe exports, according to MOC.

In addition, the EU is not in head-to-head competition with China as it excels in design and innovation with an eye on mid- and high-end markets. China, however, remained dedicated to manufacturing. That makes the anti-dumping measures meaningless, the ministry said.

The ministry noted the decision was opposed by many European importers and retailers. This reflected their strong desire to resume the normal trade of footwear.

The MOC hoped the EU could end the anti-dumping measures in response to the call of the public.

Sunset review is a system ruled by the World Trade Organization (WTO) Anti-dumping Agreement and generally implemented by WTO members.

If the review confirms the cancellation of anti-dumping measures result in further dumping and damage, investigation institutions may decide to implement anti-dumping measures for another five years.

(Xinhua News Agency October 4, 2008)

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