10/04/2017, 13.32
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As Chinese e-bikes invade Europe, new anti-dumping rules are demanded

So far this year, 800,000 Chinese e-bikes have been imported in Europe. China has an overproduction of 23 million units. The new rules seek to penalise overproduced Chinese goods subsidised by the government.

Strasbourg (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Imports of Chinese-made e-bikes in the European Union have grown so much that they endanger the survival of European manufacturers within two to three years, this according to the European Bicycle Manufacturers Association (EBMA), which has called on the European Union to move against Chinese dumping.

The EBMA claims that the price for Chinese bicycles is low because of overproduction and government subsidies.

For EBMA secretary general Moreno Fioravanti, Chinese imports in the first seven months of 2017 have already exceeded all of last year's volume.

"Imports into the EU of e-bikes from China increased from virtually zero in 2010 to a level likely over 800,000 in 2017," he explained.

The Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry, CONEBI, said that e-bike production capacity in China stood at 51 million units in 2016 with Chinese consumers buying about 28 million units. CONEBI estimates the over capacity at 23 million units, more than ten times total European demand.

In addition, e-bike exports are supported by the government taking on part of import duties exporters have to pay.

By comparison, total 2016 EU production was just over one million e-bikes, a 13 per cent increase over 2015.

Two days ago, the European Commission, member states and EU lawmakers reached an agreement over new rules on how to calculate import duties and curb unfair trade practices, especially Chinese dumping.

The new rules will come into effect if China is granted market economy status. When China joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001, it was granted 15 years as a non-market, developing economy.

This entailed many advantages but also the possibility of being subject to anti-dumping rules, even unilaterally.

In 2016, China should have been recognised as a market economy, making duties harder, but the EU is waiting until the new rules are implemented.

Beijing has said previously that the refusal to grant China market economy status is an example of “covert protectionism” and “double standards” by the West.

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