BRUSSELS, Belgium (October 10) - More and more details are revealed about the present status with regard to the SRAM-Shimano dumping controversy. The EU member states are currently split down the middle on the issue: at the last meeting of the EU's Anti-Dumping Committee, on September 20, seven voted for the planned 11.3% duties, seven against, and The Netherlands abstained. The case is due to be put to Ministers at a Council before the end of October.
Striking is the way the government of the Netherlands is handling the whole dumping procedure. Despite pressure from the Dutch industry with MD's from bike makers like Gazelle visiting the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and letters from the Dutch RAI association for the bike sector, the representative from The Netherlands abstained its vote for or against the dumping duty. And with that the country with the biggest bicycle usage in Europe and with probably (in terms of value) the biggest market in Europe, did not speak out.
The whole SRAM - Shimano dumping procedure raised also fierce anger from opponents who say evidence of injury by Shimano is flimsy. One of the opponents is the powerful German buying association ZEG. Chairman Georg Honkomp has written a letter to the German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, to express his concern about the effects of the anti-dumping duty. The Chairman of Germany's and Europe's biggest buying association for independent bike dealers (IBD's) expects that the duty will lead to a further weakening of the German bicycle industry when SRAM will get a monopoly position in Germany. Also other German and French industry insiders recently expressed their concerns. Especially about the transfer of the production of bicycles to non-European countries where no penalty duties have to be paid in order to use Shimano gear hubs. (JO)