Community set to block shoe imports

The European Community plans to block footwear imports from Canada and increase duties on imports of some industrial products in retaliation for Ottawa’s restrictions on footwear imports from the community, an EC spokesman says.

She said the commission has notified the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade about the retaliation measures, which will take effect in 30 days unless the EC and Canada find a solution to the problem. Negotiations are continuing, the spokesman said.

The EC decided to take retaliatory measures because it cannot agree with Canada on the level of compensation it should receive as a result of Canada’s import curbs on footwear. A Canadian official in Brussels said the gap between what the EC wants as compensation and what Canada is prepared to give is still “quite wide.” Under the measures, EC duties will be increased for imports of the chemicals methanol, pentaerythritol, styrene and polyethylene; furskins; kraft paper; automobile radios; wire rod; vinyl acetate; sewing needles; crude granite; and some iron or steel coils and sheets.

The EC has also prepared retaliatory measures against Canada to compensate for the limits it imposed on EC beef and veal exports this year. GATT will be notified about the measures if talks on the issue do not lead to agreement, EC sources said.

Ottawa gave the EC an import quota for beef and veal of 2,700 tonnes in 1985, a steep drop from nearly 23,000 tonnes last year. The EC has said the import curbs are against GATT rules.

An External Affairs spokesman said a team of Canadian negotiators went to Brussels Tuesday to try to negotiate a settlement of the dispute over the import controls.

The spokesman said the Government is “hopeful” that the negotiators can reach an agreement with the community.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *