China target of new anti-dumping charges?

New anti-dumping charges could be applied to China’s leather footwear industry next month, according to the China Leather Association (CLE). The charges could affect nearly 30 categories of shoes and could have a significant impact on the country’s leather manufacturers.

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

The EU has not yet published any official notice of the new charges, but the CLA has warned leather manufacturers to expect the charges to be imposed in the near future.

In the affected categories, China exported shoes worth US$600 million to EU countries in 2004.

If imposed, this would be the second anti-dumping action on China in a month. Charges were placed on two categories of safety shoes on June 30 following complaints from European manufacturers, particularly in Italy and Spain.

The European Commission claims that six categories of Chinese shoes, which were put under its inspection mechanism in February, experienced an increase in quantity but a decrease in prices in the past several months.

However, statistics from China’s General Administration of Customs shows that China’s total footwear exports to the EU was 257 million pairs in the first three months of this year (up 2.8% year-on-year) and was worth US$726 million in the period (up 30.8% year-on-year).

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