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WTO to probe EU antidumping duties on Chinese shoes

The World Trade Organization (WTO) on Tuesday set up an expert panel which would investigate and rule whether the European Union's antidumping duties on Chinese-made footwear violate global trade regulations.

The panel was established following a second request by China, which says the EU's antidumping measures are "inconsistent with related WTO agreements and impaired China's benefits." A previous request made last month was blocked by the EU in accordance with related procedures.

At Tuesday's meeting of the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), China reiterated that the EU antidumping measures "have a very serious impairment on the interests of Chinese industries."

The EU measures "have negatively affected the jobs and livelihood of around 150,000 workers employed in the production of leather footwear," the Chinese delegation said.

It added that it had repeatedly expressed "its serious concerns" to the EU on several occasions, but the two sides could not find a resolution to the matter.

"As a result, in the absence of any other option and given the immediate and systematic consequences of the EU's antidumping measures, China has to renew its request to the DSB for the establishment of a panel in order to resolve this dispute," it said.

The EU delegation said it regretted the step taken by China, adding that its antidumping measures were "fully consistent with WTO law" and it would defend those measures.

It usually takes more than six months for a panel, which consists of three to five experts, to issue its final ruling on a trade dispute.

If China wins the case, the EU would have to correct its measures in line with WTO regulations, otherwise it could face WTO- authorized retaliatory measures from China.