Mexico’s imports of Chinese-made shoes surge

March 16th, 2012 - 11:56 am ICT by IANS  

Mexico City, March 16 (IANS/EFE) Mexico’s imports of Chinese-made shoes climbed 151 percent in January, a month after compensatory quotas on those consumer goods expired, an official said.

In response, shoe manufacturers have asked the Economy Secretariat to analyze “possible safeguards to defend the Mexican footwear market from this spike in imports”, Guanajuato Shoewear Association president Armando Martin Duenas said.

Mexico signed an agreement with China in 2008 that gave its industrial sectors until December 2011 to prepare for the elimination of the compensatory quotas, which Mexico had imposed since 1993 on 204 designations of sensitive goods imported from China and had initially been scheduled to expire in 2007.

The Mexican government is currently analyzing the information presented by the country’s shoe manufacturers with a view to establishing the necessary safeguards, Martin Duenas said.

If no protective measures are taken, the industry could shed some 35,000 formal jobs within seven or eight months and 200 companies may be driven out of business, Martin Duenas said during a presentation Wednesday at the Leather and Shoe Fair.

Mexico imported roughly 490,000 pairs of Chinese-made shoes in January 2011, while in the first month of this year that figure rose to nearly 1.5 million pairs, Martin Duenas said.

“So far we don’t have (the figures on) the direct impact on jobs but if this trend continues the risk to our industry in this area is very high,” Martin Duenas said.

Mexico makes around 240 million pairs of shoes annually, compared with annual Chinese footwear production of approximately 16 billion pairs, Martin Duenas said.

In 2011, Mexico exported 22 million pairs of shoes to different regions and established a foothold in Japan and other highly demanding markets.

–IANS/EFE
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