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“China is not a market economy”
In a letter to Brussels, the Italian footwear manufacturers' association forcefully restates its opposition to granting China MES status, which would make Europe's anti-dumping efforts null and void.

ImageMilan, XX July 2016 - Assocalzaturifici says “no” to Market Economy Status (MES) for China. Assocalzaturifici Chair Annarita Pilotti underlines the association's stand on the eve of Wednesday's meeting of the College of Commissioners of the European Union in Brussels. The summit, chaired by Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, follows on a recent bilateral EU-China Summit in Beijing and represents an essential step in view of the upcoming presentation of the proposed European legislation, which will produce a final decision by December.

According to Annarita Pilotti, who has sent a letter to the European Commission and the Council, “The risk is that the footwear industry will no longer be able to protect itself effectively, because granting China market economy status would have an immediate impact on the effectiveness of tools for defending European trade. This 'change in method' would require us to accept Chinese prices and costs, which are clearly distorted as a result of the state's heavy hand in the economy, making the European Union's anti-dumping system ineffective for fighting China's unfair trade practices. Assocalzaturifici played an active role in the investigation conducted in Brussels by the CEC, the European Confederation of the Footwear Industry, which led to the EU Council of Ministers' 2006 approval of anti-dumping measures against below-cost imports from China and Vietnam; the measures remained in effect until 2011. If the regulations were different, it would be impossible to apply effective customs duties. The Commission must take a clear stand against recognition of MES status for China to defend European and Italian industry. It must take into account the fact that China currently complies with only one of the five economic criteria established by the EU for recognition of market economy status”.

On May 12 the European Parliament pronounced itself against acknowledgement of market economy status for Beijing, in a resolution which was approved by a vast majority and by Europe's principal political forces.

The stakes are high for a sector that has been facing declining domestic demand for eight years and has not yet left behind the crisis that began in 2008. China accounted for 40% of all Italy's imported pairs of shoes in 2014, 39% in 2015.

Assocalzaturifici oversaw the preparation of the file in perfect harmony with Confindustria and the Italian government right from the start, promoting and protecting the interests of its member companies in every possible way.

Aegis Europe, an alliance of more than 30 manufacturers' associations in Europe, estimates that more than 300 thousand jobs would be lost if the EU market were once again inundated with Chinese products sold at prices below cost. Italy would be the country most severely affected. 



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