China's polyester filament apparel fabric manufacturers have pledged to fight back against the European Commission's preliminary rulings in an anti-dumping case.
"The rulings on China's enterprises are unfair," said Fu Donghui, the lawyer for the Chinese firms, adding that they would appeal to the European Commission.
This reflects the latest development of the largest anti-dumping case in China's textile sector since the country entered the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001.
The European Commission decided on Wednesday to levy punitive duties against all finished polyester filament apparel fabrics originating from China.
Twenty-five enterprises, which were granted market economy status, were charged with duties of 20 percent, 19 were charged with separate duties ranging from 26.7 percent to 74.8 percent, while all the others were charged punitive duties of 85.3 percent.
"In the sample survey of eight enterprises, the European Commission took a discriminatory policy against Chinese enterprises," Fu said.
He explained that the European Commission declined to grant market economy status to wholly mainland-owned companies by paying attention to their detailed financial problems, but neglecting similar problems at foreign or Taiwan-funded companies.
"The EU also violated the accuracy and representativeness stipulated by WTO rules and EU anti-dumping laws in its method of reaching the preliminary ruling because it took the price of related enterprises as its guide," he said.
The anti-dumping investigation was launched by the European Commission on 17 July last year at the request of seven European producers.
The European companies claimed to represent a major proportion of production in EU countries - 26 percent. This volume is slightly higher than the minimum of 25 percent stipulated by the WTO.
China's polyester filament apparel fabrics makers argued that the EU could not testify that these companies occupied a major market share of the 25 European countries as the commission has yet to publish the names of these European companies.
"We will further study the results of the investigation provided by the European Commission in order to collect abundant information to win the appeal," Fu added.
The China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textile said it would start to evaluate the impact on the country's polyester filament apparel fabrics exports to the European market.
And the chamber said it would organize the enterprises to fight for a preferable final determination in September.
Over 800 Chinese enterprises are involved in the case.
Among the 56 Chinese companies, which responded the case, only 25 were granted market economy status.
The newly declared duties were quite high for Chinese exporters and would block China's exports to the European market as products from Indian and Pakistan are also competitive, Fu said.
(China Daily March 18, 2005)