Here’s ETRA’s statement in full:
Gent, Belgium – ETRA welcomes EBMAs decision not to lodge a request for a review of the anti-dumping duties against Taiwan. At the same time ETRA wishes to convey its disappointment at so much money, time and effort that was wasted in this action. The level of the resources used is rumoured to be considerable. ETRA believes it would have been better to direct these resources into actions that could have stimulated the market and thus improving the situation of the European manufacturers.
At the time of the European Commissions investigation, ETRA heavily opposed against the introduction of the measures. This protest was based on the fact that a large part of the Taiwanese bicycles, to be hit anti-dumping duties, was being sold by independent bicycle dealers (IBDs). At the time of the proceedings, in 1998, IBDs in Denmark for instance sold 40% of the Taiwanese bicycles imported into their country, in Sweden that percentage was 55%. ETRA believed that EBMA lodged the complaint because the European bicycle industry was putting down their problems to injury caused by unfair competition. According to the retailers association, that reasoning was incorrect. Moreover, ETRA argued that initiatives such as dumping complaints were not an accurate solution to the problems of the European producers because they did not tackle the real causes. This was confirmed by the results, or rather, lack of results of the past 5 years of anti-dumping duties on Taiwanese bicycles. In 2002 for instance imports grew with over 17% compared to 2001. Despite the duties, average value decreased with almost 21%. Moreover, the measures could not prevent several European manufacturers closing down or relocating their production outside the European Union.
The anti-dumping legislation was designed to tackle a specific form of unfair competition, i.e. to prevent sales of a product in the EU at a price below the selling price for the domestic market. ETRA agrees with any action aimed at stopping this unfair trade practice. Anti-dumping actions for purely protectionist reasons however are a sheer waste of time and money for all parties involved. That time and money should have been spent on growing the bicycle market in Europe by means of constructive initiatives.