Retailers are warning of a rising tide of protectionism in Brussels as the European Commission prepares to slap punitive tariffs on imports of cheap Chinese shoes this week. The EC is expected to rubber stamp on Wednesday a decision of the 25 member states to impose a 20 per cent duty on leather shoes from China.
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Kevin Hawkins of the BRC said “We are expecting a series of fights in Brussels over the next year or so. What’s coming hot on the heels of footwear is plastic bags, then furniture, ceramics and metal chairs. Once you start bringing a momentum behind this why stop now.”