Footwear retailers and suppliers have lambasted the European Commission’s decision to propose an extension of anti-dumping duties on leather footwear sourced in China and Vietnam.
Drapers has launched a Dump The Duties campaign, calling for the duties at 16.5% and 10% respectively - which have adversely impacted the troubled footwear market and pushed up prices for the consumer - to be stamped out.
Dune Group chief executive John Egan said: “Currency fluctuations mean we cannot offset the duty costs. Retailers either have to take less margin or put prices up and most people will have to do a combination of the two.”
Tim Cooper, managing director of branded and private label supply business OPS, said: “Proposing to lift the duties would have given everybody the chance to offer better value to their consumer.”
Harvey Jacobson, managing director of footwear supplier Jacobson Group, added: “All anti-dumping duties have 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.”
One retailer agreed: “Our biggest fear is that if this proposal is agreed to then in reality these anti-dumping duties could actually run beyond 15 months. 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.”
Director of the British Retail Consortium Brussels Alisdair Gray said: “All these duties have done is divert imports from China to India. It has had no impact on EU producers.”
Richard Kottler, chief executive of the British Footwear Association, said: “Anti-dumping duties penalise the ultimate consumer; it 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.”
Financial services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers’ international trade consultant Emma Ormond said: “There is no justification for the extension of measures.”
Interested parties have until November 3 to lodge objections.
To find out more information on our campaign visit www.drapersonline.com/news/footwear/dump-the-duties-campaign or email email@example.com
- October 22 European Commission (EC) Anti-Dumping Committee meeting (footwear not currently on the agenda but expected to be discussed)
- October 27 Deadline for EC to take proposal to member states
- November 3 Deadline for interested parties to make opinions known
- November 10-27 EU member states vote on proposal
- November 20 Deadline for EC to get the proposal and vote result to the European Council, which rubberstamps the decision
- December 20 Final Council meeting and vote
- January 3 Deadline for completion of review of anti-dumping measures
- January 8 Expiry of measures if extension not agreed