On Thursday, a delegation of Chinese bicycle makers urged the EU to drop the 17-year old anti-dumping duties.

Cheaper bikes will lead to more sales, say Chinese makers

In a statement, representatives of Chinese bicycle manufacturers said:

"The EU bicycle industry does not merit the protection of further extension of anti-dumping measures targeting Chinese imports."

According to the Xinhuanet news agency, the statement was presented to the European Commission which is deciding whether to keep the duties in place for another five years.

The EU imposed anti-dumping duties on imports of bicycles originating in China in 1993 following lobbying by the Paris-based European Bicycle Manufacturers Association. EBMA claimed that Chinese bicycle producers were dumping in the EU and squeezing them out of the market.

While Chinese bike makers were in Brussels, the EBMA’s Brian Montgomery was in London at the Pickwick lunch.

The EU has extended the duties twice, in 2000 and 2005.

EU anti-dumping measures are usually imposed for five years. 

The duty rate was initially set at 36 percent and raised to 48.5 percent in 2005.

EBMA requested another extension earlier this year. An expiry review investigation was started in July.

Zhang Peisheng, senior commissioner from China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME), said:

"The allegations of EMBA are misleading and unfounded. [European bicycle suppliers] did not taken any steps in restructuring the industry and improving their cost efficiency, which naturally leads to their fear of competition from China. They expect again this time that the European Commission will come to its rescue by another five years’ duties against China, to defer the inevitable day when it has to address its own internal inefficiencies and failings."

He added that European consumers pay more for their bikes than US consumers, where Chinese imports are free of punitive duties. He said average price for a bike sold in the EU is about one third higher than that in the US.

To get more people on bikes, they need to be cheaper, said Peisheng.

"It is in the interests of the EU as a whole to reintroduce the competition in the EU and pass on the welfare to the public who are concerned about the environment."

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