Bike Europe received the following letter on 19 November. It is published here in full.
Dear Mr. Rossi [of the European Commission]
It has come to our attention that the EC is once again initiating an anti-dumping investigation - this time against frames and forks from Taiwan and China.
The reality is that small companies involved in the bicycle trade do not have the ability to dump (i.e. sell below cost) frames and forks. We are all in business to make a bit of profit. To most business observers, it seems as if the EC is being manipulated to benefit the few while it is the entire bicycle industry as well as consumers who end up paying the cost. A vibrant, dynamic bicycle industry depends on healthy competition - not protectionist barriers for a few local manufacturers who are unable or unwilling to compete on a level playing field.
A cursory examination of those European industries that are the most healthy and competitive worldwide - illustrates that industries that are open to global competition are the most healthy. Companies like Nokia, Ericsson, BT, etc. do not need help from the government and in fact are engines for economic growth.
Dahon for instance, only sells folding bicycle frames to the EC. Folding bicycles are one of the fastest growing segments of the bicycle market. Folding bicycles are good for the environment and are an important piece of the transportation solution for many governments. There are no other EC manufacturers producing such frames. But by imposing duties, the EC forces European bicycle distributors to buy completely assembled folding bicycles from Asia - thereby sending assembly work to Asia that could have been given to EC workers. Or, if manufacturers pay the anti-dumping duty, end prices go up to consumers. With higher prices for goods, it is only natural that consumer spending will slow.
Please carefully consider this case from all angles and be sure that you are working toward the greater good of all EC constituents not simply for the benefit of a handful of non-competitive companies.
Thank you for your time.
Director, Sales and Marketing