2009-11-23    作者:王婧    来源:经济参考报


  It is not just all good things that come to an end. Some bad ones do too. Yesterday,European Union trade officials rejected a plan to extend the ①“anti-dumping” duties levied on shoe imports from China and Vietnam. Even so,the episode points up the opaque and arbitrary nature of EU trade laws.
  The duties,imposed for two years on imports sold below the price in the exporting country’s home market,began in 2006 after ②lobbying by producer countries such as Spain and Italy. As the end-date approached the European Commission was pressed to keep the duties for a further 15 months. The Commission should have stood up to this lobby:it did not.
  Anti-dumping duties are generally a bad idea. There may a case for protecting an industry with strategic importance. But shoes are less strategic even than yoghurts. If Beijing wants to subsidise European consumers’shoe habits,by sending footwear halfway around the globe,it should be able to do so. Shoemaking is not an industry with high barriers to entry,nor one where ③predatory pricing delivers an unfair competitive advantage.
  There are other problems with anti-dumping duties too. They encourage retaliation,moving international trade further in the wrong direction. The protection afforded by anti-dumping measures also encourages producers to focus on pleading or arguing for its continuance rather than concentrating on how to become more competitive themselves,perhaps by moving to the ④top end of the market or even by becoming more responsive to customers’needs.
  Though yesterday’s decision was the right result,the process by which it was achieved was a reminder of the vagaries of the EU approach to anti-dumping actions. Like most members of the World Trade Organisation,the EU allows its policymakers too much discretion and does not insist on enough transparency. This produces a regime that is neither clear nor certain.
  Peter(now Lord)Mandelson sought to reform the anti-dumping laws while he was trade commissioner,but was unable to make headway. ⑤Since the credit crunch has caused a fresh outbreak of economic nationalism among some EU countries,now is probably not the best time to seek to revive reform plans. Instead,EU national governments should make sure that if the Commission again seeks to appease the protectionists and tries to extend anti-dumping next month then their ministers reject it as officials did.



  曼德尔森勋爵(Lord Mandelson)在担任欧盟贸易专员期间,曾寻求改革反倾销法律,但未能取得进展。鉴于信贷紧缩已导致某些欧盟国家爆发新一波的经济民族主义,现在或许并非重启改革计划的最佳时机。相反,如果欧盟委员会再次寻求安抚保护主义者,试图在下月延长反倾销关税,欧盟各国政府应当确保他们的部长拒绝接受这个决定,就像欧盟官员所做的那样。



  ①anti-dumping duties,反倾销税。duty在此意为“税,关税”,可用作复数,也可与其它词一起构成形容词,如duty-free(免税的)。duty 还有“义务,责任,职责,职务”的意思。 
  ③predatory pricing,掠夺性定价,指通过牺牲短期利润消除竞争对手而在长期获得高利润的定价行为,是一种不公平的竞争行为。price作动词时意为“定价,出价,标价”。 
  ④top end意为“高端的”。高端市场也可作“high end market”。类似表达还有low end market,低端市场;midrange market,中端市场。
  ⑤在这里,“Since the credit crunch has caused a fresh outbreak of economic nationalism among some EU countries”,是一个由连接词“since”引导的表起因或原因的状语从句,说明了主句所陈述的“now is probably not the best time to seek to revive reform plans”的原因。

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