Here’s the text of his open letter:
WHY NOT AN UNEXPECTED CHRISTMAS PRESENT FROM THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT TO THE REST OF THE BICYCLE WORLD?
Notwithstanding their very low dumping prices, Chinese bicycle manufacturers have further specific government help to attack the bicycle markets of the rest of the world. And with the help of all the benefits put in their way – they have managed to arrive at a point where they manufacture over half of the worlds bicycles per year at the latest count.
They have an export subsidy on bicycles of 17%, and are one of the specific light industries to benefit from this help. The W.T.O. rules are clear – and help of this kind to exporters is not allowed . But membership of the W.T.O. does not deter the Chinese government who will do a great deal, however questionable, for their State industries. They flout the rules in a variety of ways ( illegal copying of CDs and DVDs – illegal copying of proprietary software – etc. etc.) and the authorities do nothing. But this is really not quite true because they generously propose to lower the 17% subsidy to a 14% subsidy on January 1st 2004 (Chinese Ministry of Finance bulletin Oct.2003.) Which presumably is meant to impress and please us. Why do they not take the legal route – eliminate the subsidy for bicycles altogether – and give the bicycle industries of the rest of the world a Christmas present? One can pose the question – is supplying over 50% of world consumption not enough for them. They have destroyed the USA industry – they are well on the way to doing the same thing in Japan – they are cynically using massive currency manipulation. Where will the Chinese stop?
With a positive balance of payments of $130 billion with the USA – are they planning to arrive at the same situation in Europe? They joined the Group who torpedoed any form of a solution in Cancun – and now as a gesture – we would be very happy to see our Christmas present – the elimination of export subsidies on bicycles – and to see them respecting the trade rules of the rest of the International Community.