Representatives from the China Chamber of Commerce for Imports and Exports of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME) participated on 18 April in a hearing held by the European Commission on the on-going anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations of electric bicycles imported from China.
They presented the key elements of their defence:
- Chinese producers deny allegations of dumping and causing injury to the EU industry; The choice of Switzerland as analogue country is inappropriate and does not provide for a fair comparison for calculation of dumping: there are fundamental differences between China and Switzerland regarding the level of economic development, cost of production, and e-bike market segment (Switzerland mostly sells high-end e-bikes, which are not the focus of the Chinese exports);
- The imposition of duties would harm large parts the European industry which is dependent on imports of parts from China, as well as European consumers by reducing choice and driving prices up, impeding the development of clean mobility and efforts to reduce carbon emissions in the EU;
- Recent figures from the EU industry show that production and sales revenues from e-bikes have been constantly growing over the past years, making the existence of material injury highly implausible.
- The eligibility of some of the companies supporting the complaint is in doubt, as the “EU e-bikes industry” counts importers of the products under investigation
- Unlike other trade complaints, there is no overcapacity in China’s e-bike industry: export volumes are customised and based on the EU demand, while more than 95% of China’s e-bikes are sold to the domestic market.
The CCCME is also arguing against a Commission order of registration of imports which might come in the next weeks and would stifle demand and drive up prices for consumers.
Chen Huiqing, director of the legal service department of CCCME, said: “the potential imposition of tariffs would be detrimental to Chinese producers and EU consumers alike, and would deprive Europe of a sustainable e-mobility solution. We hope the European Commission will take this into account and come to a fair and reasonable decision.”
Song Bo, Director of the Information Department of China Bicycle Association, said: “China has a uniquely strong biking culture and in the past few years, the e-bike industry has been developing rapidly. Chinese companies gained the know-how and have been continuously improving their competitiveness in the international market. That should not be confused with dumping.”