Anti-Dumping-Duties – What About the Component Manufacturers?
In the past week it was a daily topic in the European living rooms: The European trade-commission decided to rise anti-dumping duties on solar panels made in China with the beginning of June.
This decision caused many exclamations in the member states. But not only here in Europe: The Chinese prime minister Li Keqiang started to fulminate about this during his meeting with Angela Merkel and the Geman Chancellor started to backpedal. It seems like everybody thinks, that Anti-Dumping-Duties are a political topic – but it my opinion they are not.
Dumping is always illegal
In general those proceedings about anti-dumping duties are no despotisms of the European commission or even intentions of politicians, all decisions made were based on clear data as well as concurrent evidence for the existence of dumping. Dumping is always an illegal activity and if this can be verified, an anti-dumping duty has to be raised based on the detected financial damage caused by the dumping activities.
This is exactly what happed in the proceeding concerning the punitive tariff duties on bicycles made in china. In this case dumping activities carried out by most Chinese bike manufacturers could be verified and logically consequent the European Administration decided to rise an anti-dumping duty of 48,5%. Very easy in fact.
Only bicycle manufacturers benefit
So the European bicycle manufacturers can breathe a sigh of relief for the next year because their position against the Chinese competitors is strengthened. They benefit from the decision in the support of anti-dumping. But how about the European manufacturers of bicycle components? There are no anti-dumping duties on the import of bike components – respectively they are overruled by some complex laws and regulations.
We as an European manufacturer for bicycle components are pleased for our customers that they are protected against the import of low-cost bikes from china into the EU. But on one side the European manufacturers benefit, because bikes are bought from them and not from China – and on the other side they take the advantage and buy low-price bicycle components from China and do exact the same thing they want to be protected against.
Equity and fairness within the industry?
“Preach abstinence and drink wine!” Where is the equity and fairness for the European component manufacturers? And even one step further – where are their own strategic concerns. It’s doubtful whether the European bike manufacturers are able to survive without the European bike component industry in the long term. And one thing is certain, the next anti-dumping proceeding can’t be extended without the existence of the European bike component industry.
And when bikes mainly consist of Chinese low cost components, this causes the exact same amount of damage to the industry as if complete bikes were imported from China. Regardless if the retailer, the wholesaler or the manufacturer: Every bike part manufactured in Europe is better, economically more reasonable and more valuable to conquer the European financial crisis.
Alfred Thun GmbH & Co.KG