The 25-member European Commission voted Wednesday to propose duties of 16.5% on Chinese leather shoes, with exemptions for some categories, such as hi-tech sneakers, the Wall Street Journal reported. The tariffs will affect 14% of Chinese shoe imports. Temporary duties imposed in April are set to expire on October 6, but the EU is split over how much to protect its shoemakers from low-cost Asian producers. Countries with domestic shoe producers want protection, but free-trade advocates have lobbied for lower duties, or none at all, on behalf of retailers. EU governments have until October 6 to accept or reject the proposal by a simple majority. If they can't agree in a vote, the temporary duties will expire. Vietnamese footwear exports also face duties under the proposal.
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