Europe has denied market economy status to 13 Chinese footwear manufacturers. This moves the EU closer to imposing anti-dumping duties on shoe imports from China. The European Commission is still studying what it costs the Chinese to make shoes, to assess whether exports have been dumped on the European market. Lawyers say it is likely China’s wares have been sold at below domestic prices, and will therefore be liable for extra duties.
Brussels began investigating last year. Italy had led complaints by EU states with shoe industries of their own. But Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands, with strong retail interests, want to avoid extra duties. EU retail lobbyists say the import tax would add seven euros to the price of each pair.