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Dump The Duties: Add your voice

The footwear industry is up in arms at plans by the European Commission to propose an extension of anti-dumping duties on leather footwear sourced in China and Vietnam. Join the British Retail Consortium, the British Footwear Association and retailers and suppliers to lend your support to the campaign to stamp out the duties.

Drapers’ Dump The Duties campaign is backed by the British Retail Consortium and the British Footwear Association and together we will compile your thoughts and submit them to Trade Commissioner Baroness Ashton in early November.

“All these duties have done is divert imports from China to India, it has had absolutely no positive impact on EU producers. There is no EU producer making cheap footwear - so we do not understand the value of these duties continuing for much longer.”

Director of the British Retail Consortium Brussels Alisdair Gray

Get Involved

You can help us by telling us your views on the proposed extension. We want to know how your business has been affected in real terms – have you suffered job losses and price increases? How has it impacted your business and your customer? You can submit your comments below or email amy.shields@emap.com. Information will be treated in confidence where specified.

To read all the stories related to the campaign click here.

“It is our belief that anti-dumping duties penalise the ultimate consumer; is not commercially rational, and is having a negative impact on the bulk of the UK footwear sector both in terms of margin and the ability to counter the current economic downturn.”

British Footwear Association chief executive Richard Kottler

 

Readers' comments (12)

  • Anti-dumping duties are anti-competitive in a supposed free market economy. The tax does not in any way make us buy more from Europe and therefore defeats the object.

    Anthony Smith, chief executive Shoe Zone

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  • We are confident that the duties will be terminated. All these duties have done is divert imports from China to India, it has had absolutely no positive impact on EU producers. There is no EU producer making cheap footwear so we do not understand the value of these duties continuing for much longer. All we can say for certain is that this process is costing us money and this could be a never ending process. We expect them to reject the duties because the commission’s document is so week and so blatantly trying to find a compromise to get rid of the issue. I think member states will see sense.
    BRC director Brussels Alisdair Gray

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  • The BFA - representing its importer membership - opposes the continuation of an Anti-Dumping Duty. It is our belief that ADD penalises the ultimate consumer; is not commercially rational, and is having a negative impact on the bulk of the UK footwear sector both in terms of margin and the ability to counter the current economic downturn."

    British Footwear Association chief executive Richard Kottler

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  • Since the introduction in 2006 of these additional duties European retail businesses and consumers have already had to pay an additional 800 million Euro and we still don’t understand who is benefiting from this. During this period European Footwear production has continued to decline whilst the decline in imports from China and Vietnam has only been replaced by imports from the rest of the world.

    Therefore if European producers are not benefiting from this we then have to consider what impact the continuation of these anti dumping measures will have for future investment and growth prospects for European footwear brands, retailers and consumers.

    European footwear producers do not have the capacity to produce the volumes for our retail industry and the appetite for investment in high capacity labour intensive production does not exist in Europe. We are therefore forced into sourcing footwear from overseas and China and Vietnam remain the catalysts for price sensitive footwear categories. However there is a limit to how much additional cost can be absorbed by retailers without impacting consumer price inflation.

    In this current climate the ability of retailers and consumers to continue to absorb these additional costs without negative consequences for employment and long term investment has to be the real concern.



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  • The Commission has taken significantly longer to conclude this review than the seven months that were originally promised and our members have suffered as a result – the duties have been in place for more than three years now. I am considerably disappointed to see that they have ignored the concerns of importers, retailers and consumers. We have, of course the right to respond, but ultimately it is up to the EU Member States to decide whether the duties continue and I appeal to them to take the only course that is proper; reject the proposal and prevent the continuation of duties".

    Ferry den Hoed, president of the Foreign Trade Association

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  • It is very disappointing. The EU footwear manufacturing industry has already declined and all anti dumping has served to do is introduce a further tax on the public, increase prices and negatively impact retailers and trade –contributing to the loss of jobs on the high street. The fluctuation of currency exchange rates are par for the course, its frustrating but if one of my Italian shoes are more expensive so are everybody else’s. Currency fluctuation is a necessary evil – anti dumping is an unnecessary evil.

    Harvey Jacobson, managing director of footwear supplier Jacobson Group

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  • The time has now come for an end to anti-dumping duties on footwear. The European footwear industry could then return to a business model offering predictability, certainty and, most important, value and choice for European consumers.

    The European Footwear Alliance

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  • The UK Government has consistently opposed these measures. In our view, the Commission should terminate the measures honouring the compromise agreed after protracted negotiations with member states in 2006. The measures are against the overall EU interest - imposing additional costs on consumers - especially those on low incomes. They have not benefited EU producers whose products do not compete directly against shoes from China and Vietnam.

    Government spokesperson

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  • As a small business who tried unsuccessfully to find an EU manufacturer, I had no option but to look elsewhere. Instead I found a factory in China that was willing to work with me and make my unique designs and small volumes. However ADD is crippling my company and, if it continues, I will have to pass price increases onto my customers or ‘sink’. I urge Baroness Ashton to remove ADD on all shoe imports from China.

    Catherine Owens, Managing Director Amber & Jade Shoes

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  • Dear Catherine Owens
    Surely a retailer should serve the public, not the public serve the retailer by reducing their working conditions to Chinese levels?

    I share your experience of finding that factories have just closed, or close just after I contact them, or can't afford to do what I'd like, but still believe it's possible in democratic welfare states like Slovakia and even in the UK. Subsidies to technical colleges and machines that any qualified person could use would be a good start, rather than subsidies for designers labels and PR.

    If you ever find a UK womens shoe factory, could you let me know? I'm not sure what Softwalker are doing. Hotter only sub-contract to large customers.
    regards
    John Robertson
    veganline.com

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