China Calls for Fairness in Anti-Dumping Review
BRUSSELS, Belgium – Last Friday (October 26) a hearing took place in Brussels at which representatives from Chinese bicycle manufacturers called the European Commission to drop the current 48.5% anti-dumping duty on bikes imported from China.
The hearing took place in the context of the interim review initiated by the European Commission in March 2012 on the renewed anti-dumping measures applicable to imports of bicycles originating in the People’s Republic of China which were announced in October 2011 and will apply for a period of five years.
At the hearing the China bike industry was represented by law firm Steptoe & Johnson LLP. According to a China Daily news report James Searles, partner at this Brussels-based law firm, said that Brussels’ decision to extend anti-dumping tariffs against Chinese bicycle exporters until 2016 had resulted from the “wrong methodologies” Brussels used to measure China’s exports and protect the bicycle industry in the EU.
Changes in industry and markets
Searles also stressed the fact that Brussels had levied anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese exporters for 19 years. “I hope the European Commission will realize all the changes in the industry and markets both in China and Europe and make a fair and objective judgment this time.” He added that since the first anti-dumping measures were adopted against the Chinese bicycles in 1993, the European bicycle industry has transformed into an assembly industry, with most of the major parts being imported.
EU’s protectionist measures
Zhang Peisheng, a senior official at the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Machinery and Electronic Products, said in the China Daily report: “Chinese companies are exporting more and more bicycle components to Europe. However, the EU’s protectionist measures and anti-dumping tariffs are aimed at whole bicycle imports.”
The delegation representing China’s bike industry also stressed that the commission has considered all types of bicycles as the same product despite the fact that different types of bikes are distinct from each other in terms of performance, use and price. “This practice has caused unfair results for the different exports as it is too generalized.”
The delegation also brought forward that China’s bicycle exports to Europe accounts for just 3% of the total bicycle imports by EU member states. This is contradicted by the European Bicycle Manufacturers Association (EBMA) which claims that the EU import figures from China do not stand at 400,000 units in 2011 but, due to circumvention practices like re-routing and re-packaging through third countries, stand closer to 1.5 million units. The European Commission is currently investigating these allegations made by EBMA. This investigation which was announced late September has to be concluded in 13 months. The European Commission’s interim review announced last March has to be concluded in 15 months.