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What a lot of cobblers

Thursday, 1st October 2009

EU comes under pressure to extend tax hike on far east shoes

Mediterranean high end shoe manufacturers are trying to keep up the cost of ordinary leather shoes on UK high streets, to protect themselves from cheaper imports from China and Vietnam, Conservative MEP Roger Helmer said today.

The so-called 'anti-dumping' measures currently in place, and being considered for extension by the EU, could see the tariff of 16.5 percent continuing on shoes from China, and 10 percent on shoes from Vietnam over the next two years.

Mr Helmer said UK consumers and local retailers would feel the brunt of the duties at a time when other household bills are rising sharply.

He said:

"Shoe prices in the UK could increase unnecessarily at a time when we are already facing higher household bills.

"The EU is under pressure to further levy a tax on EU consumers in a vain attempt to protect Mediterranean shoe manufacturers who need to face up to the fact they cannot produce shoes more cheaply than Asian countries. China needs to be seen as an opportunity, but the EU is still treating it as a threat and trying to block it out.

"Free trade is good for consumers and it creates more and better jobs. It may be painful for some, but the EU will gain in the long run. Burying our heads in the sand and pretending globalisation has never happened is the totally wrong approach."