In a move designed to shame EU lawmakers into action on the issue of Chinese tyres, BIPAVER has issued a press statement accusing the European Commission of being unable to defend European SME Industry against cheap imports from China. At the same time BIPAVER has also written individual letters to Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission and Dr FCGM Timmermanns, Vice-Chairman of the European Commission, urging them to reconsider the recent decision by GD Handel not to initiate an anti-dumping action against the Chinese. The failure to introduce such an action, says the letter, threatens 10,000 SME jobs across Europe and stands to eliminate, at least in the medium term, a whole branch of the tyre industry in Europe.
“After more than a year asking the Directorate-General Trade to consider our case and presenting several solutions, both technical and legislative, it has become clear that the European Commission is not able to defend our industry due to the lack of legislation for this specific situation within the retread industry,” says the strongly worded press release. “At a time when the EU is discussing opening even further the EU market to imports from diverse exporting countries and when its citizens are questioning the European project, the retreading industry cannot understand the added value of a European trade policy if they are not able to defend their own SME industries.
“Bipaver strongly advises Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrøm to reassess what the EU can or cannot do in the coming weeks in order to establish a level playing field and safeguard our industry and its SMEs in particular.”
In justifying its position, BIPAVER points out in its press release that “the Chinese tyre industry has been dumping truck tyres in the European market. Today the prices of most of their products sold in the EU-28 have fallen below the manufacturing costs of retreaded truck tyres. Market conditions have worsened quickly over the last year mainly due to an increase of anti-dumping regulations in neighbouring continents.” This, it says, has resulted in an increase in cheap imports from 1 million to 5 million tyres over the course of the past five years, during which time truck retreads have fallen from 6 million to 4 million units. Retreading companies, points out the release have, in general, a limited economic trading range of a few hundred kilometres and are therefore limited to trade within the EU-28.