Latin America’s foot-wear industry are proposing a “united front” against what they describe as “disloyal trade practices” from China, as part of the Asian giant’s foreign trade policies.
Industry leaders from Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, Uruguay, Ecuador, Paraguay and Spain have proposed “the promotion of inter-regional trade so as not to depend from markets such as the United States”, which has now for several years collapsed.
Most of the above countries at one time or another were strong exporters of shoes and different kinds of foot wear to the Untied States and Canada.
In the framework of the World’s Eight’s International Foot wear congress currently meeting in the city of Guanajuato, Mexico, the Latin American manufacturers that have a joint annual production of 1.5 billion pairs of shoes strongly criticized China’s policies.
China “can’t continue taking advantage of miserable working conditions and salaries as a competitiveness argument”, they underlined.
Alberto Sellaro president of Argentina’s Chamber of Foot Wear called on Latin American countries to join and form a strong united front “to defend local industries from the diverse Chinese practices such as under-billing or using Panama to triangle and ship their shoes to the rest of the continent”.
Nevertheless they did praise some of the measures lately applied by Panama which has enabled to slow down the flow of Chinese foot wear imports by at least 70%.