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Leather Footwear Faces Anti-dumping Probe

China's leather footwear sector may become the second target of European Union (EU) anti-dumping charges by as early as next month, according to the China Leather Association.

"According to our information, the EU is proposing a new round of anti-dumping investigations against a wide range of leather shoes from China," said Wei Yafei, the association's spokeswoman.

This anti-dumping probe, which is predicted to cover nearly 30 classes of shoes, could be a big blow to Chinese manufacturers.

"It will affect more than 1,000 shoe factories and millions of jobs in the country," Wei said.

She added that her association has called on concerned enterprises to be prepared to respond although the European Commission has not yet published the official notice to initiate the action.

In 2004, China exported shoes in the affected categories valued at US$0.6 billion to EU countries.

This action would represent the second EU anti-dumping charge against footwear originating in China in a month. A dumping probe into two categories of work safety shoes was launched by the EU on June 30 at the request of domestic shoe makers, particularly from Italy and Spain.

To date, Chinese shoe manufacturers are actively responding to the EU dumping charges, with nearly all Chinese shoe makers involved.

The EU may also launch in the future dumping charges against footwear materials from China.

The European Commission claims that six categories of Chinese shoes, which were put under its inspection mechanism in February, experienced a great surge in quantity and had certain declines in unit prices in the past several months.

However, statistics from China's General Administration of Customs shows that China's footwear exports to the European Union (EU) stood at 257 million pairs in the first three months this year, up 2.8 per cent year-on-year. The total value of the products were US$726 million in the period, up 30.8 per cent year-on-year.

(China Daily July 7, 2005)

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