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Sat, Mar 25, 2006 - Page 10 News List

China and Vietnam plan to appeal EU's shoe rulings

AP AND AFP , BEIJING AND HANOI

China yesterday rejected European accusations of shoe dumping, and its shoemakers were reportedly raising money to fight new import limits.

"Chinese footwear exporters are not dumping shoes," Commerce Ministry spokesman Chong Quan (崇泉) said, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

"China, with its low cost of labor, has a comparative advantage in shoe manufacturing," Chong was quoted as saying.

Vietnam yesterday also condemned as "regrettable and irrational" an EU move to impose anti-dumping tariffs on leather footwear made in its factories and in neighboring China.

The tariffs threaten to bankrupt many Vietnamese exporters at the cost of thousands of jobs, Vietnam's footwear industry has said.

The EU announced on Thursday that will impose anti-dumping duties on Chinese shoes on April 7, starting at 4 percent and rising to 19.4 percent over six months. Half of the 2.5 billion pairs of shoes sold in the EU last year came from China.

Wu Zhenchang, president of the Guangdong Chuangxin Shoe Manufacturing Co and a member of an industry association, rejected the European duties as unfounded, Xinhua said.

"Along with cooperating with the Chinese government and chambers of commerce in their consultations with the EU, our alliance is also raising a defense fund," Wu was quoted as saying.

He said shoemakers want to raise about 3 million yuan (US$375,000) to hire European lawyers to "to plead our case against the duty," according to Xinhua.

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