Candle prices will rise if EU imposes trade duties

Europe can’t hold a candle to Chinese competition

Strasbourg, 18th February 2008 — The price consumers and retailers pay for their candles will increase if the EU slaps a tariff on Chinese candle imports, Conservative MEP, Sir Robert Atkins , said today.

The Commission has begun an ‘anti-dumping’ investigation into Chinese candles following complaints from Germany, the Netherlands and other countries. The British Retail Consortium believes a new tariff of up to 50% could be levied from this September for five years, and IKEA has already said it will significantly impact on the prices it must charge.

Sir Robert said the European Union continues to espouse its free trade credentials yet the European Commission engages in underhand protectionism for its own producers. Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson suffered meltdown over a planned reform of so-called Trade Defence Instruments (anti-dumping etc), following pressure from other Commissioners to water down his reforms.

Sir Robert said:

“Once again the European Commission is saying one thing and doing another on free trade. The vast majority of the EU’s candle imports come from China and a new tariff will hike up the prices for consumers across Europe.

“It is time we had a consistent and coherent approach on trade from the EU. Either the Commission supports totally free trade, which benefits all consumers, or it supports protectionist measures that seek to protect a very narrow sample of European production.

“This action may please uncompetitive candle producers in Holland and Germany, but for consumers and retailers in the rest of Europe it will just get on their wick.”

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