Geneva / Beijing: China has launched a dispute at the World Trade Organisation over EU anti-dumping duties on leather footwear.
China said in a filing to the WTO on Thursday that it was seeking consultations with the European Union over the duties, the first step in a formal dispute.
The EU extended duties on Chinese and Vietnamese shoes by 15 months in a vote in late December. China had lobbied hard against the decision, which extended duties first levied in 2006.
“The European Union anti-dumping investigation and finding contravenes relevant WTO regulations and hurts the legitimate interests of Chinese companies,” ministry of commerce spokesman Yao Jian said in a statement on the ministry’s website.
If the two sides do not resolve their differences within 60 days, China can ask the WTO to rule on the case.
The extended duties took effect on 3 January and amount to a 16.5% tariff on imports of Chinese leather shoes and 10% on those made in Vietnam.
European retailers and global shoe brands had opposed the extension, on the grounds it would lead to higher prices for consumers. Chinese- and Vietnamese-made shoes are estimated to make up 30% of the EU market.