The European Commission rejected China’s call for a formal investigation by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) into anti-dumping duties on leather footwear imported from Vietnam and China.
In December the levy of 16.5% on Chinese leather footwear and 10% on Vietnamese product was extended.
However, China lodged a complaint with the WTO in February and has called for a formal inquiry in to the tax which it regards as protectionist.
It is only the second time that Beijing, which joined the WTO in 2001, has tried to use the world trade body to challenge EU tariffs, the other being a formal complaint last summer about duties on metal fasteners.
The commerce ministry in Beijing said on Friday: “The Chinese Government has sent a letter through its WTO mission requesting the set-up of a panel concerning the EU anti-dumping action on shoe imports from China.
“Part of the EU’s anti-dumping laws discriminate against China and the EU anti-dumping probes and ruling over China-made leather shoes lack fairness and transparency.
“There is no damage done to the EU shoe industry. Extending the anti-dumping measures would not benefit the EU shoe industry. Rather it will only hurt the interests of consumers in the EU.”
European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said: “The European Commission strongly rejects China’s claim made today that the EU’s anti-dumping measures against certain footwear from China are not in line with the EU’s WTO obligations.”