On October 30, Wang Zhenhao, president of Aokang Group, said in an interview with the China Business News that although the lawsuits issued by five Chinese shoemakers, including his company, against the European Commission are progressing very slowly, the current situation appears to favor the Chinese side. He believes that their efforts won't be in vain.
But some people inside the shoe business are not as upbeat about the outcome of the lawsuits. They think that it is very difficult to beat the European Commission. Moreover, the lawsuits will last for a very long time: the court will rule its final decision by the end of 2008. Ironically, the anti-dumping duty imposed by the EU on Chinese shoes is invalid as of next October, two months earlier than the court ruling. This means that the lawsuits are moot for the Chinese shoe manufacturers.
But Wang doesn't agree. He is afraid that the European Commission may continue to levy anti-dumping duties on Chinese shoes for another five years, but he's also learned that the EU shoe importers and retailers stand against anti-dumping duties. He believes that with their support it would be possible for them to win this lawsuit and prevent any future barriers. Besides, with so much attention already focused on this issue, his company has landed in the European spotlight. For him, the lawsuits are beneficial.
In 2005, the European Union (EU) launched an anti-dumping investigation involving more than US$700 million against Chinese-made shoes. On October 7, 2006, the EU concluded that the dumping margin of Chinese shoes was 16.5 percent and decided to levy an anti-dumping duty on the shoes for two years. Two months later five Chinese shoe manufacturers: Aokang Group, Wenzhou Taima Shoes Co., Ltd., Nanhai Jinlv Shoe Industry Co., Ltd., Sun Sang Kong Yuen Shoes Factory Company Limited and Wenzhou Wanbang Shoes Industry Co., Ltd, all filed lawsuits in the EU Court of Justice against the European Commission's decision.
For more details, please read the full story in Chinese. (http://www.china-cbn.com/s/n/000004/20071031/020000058997.shtml)
(Chna.org.cn October 31, 2007)