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July 24, 2008

Vietnam: Footwear industry to lose EU preferential tariffs

The European Union has decided to end preferential tariffs for Vietnamese-made footwear and some other goods, AFP quoted the European Commission as saying Wednesday.

EU foreign ministers, at a meeting in Brussels, on Tuesday backed the renewal of the bloc's system of general preferences for products from developing countries from January 2009 to the end of 2011.

However, as part of the decision, they withdrew Vietnam's preferential market access for footwear, headgear, umbrellas, sun umbrellas, artificial flowers and other goods, according to the commission.

The decision was taken after the Vietnamese goods were deemed to be competitive enough not to need preferential market access.

Last month Vietnam's footwear makers warned the move would cost them over 100 million dollars and harm workers already suffering from double-digit inflation.

The European sporting goods industry, which sources much of its products from Asia, has also attacked plans to scrap the preferential tariffs for Vietnamese footwear.

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