EU SLAPS CHINA, VIETNAM: The European Union said Thursday it will slap punitive antidumping duties on imports of women’s and men’s leather shoes from China and Vietnam, of 19.4 percent and 16.8 percent, respectively. EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said in a statement, “These antidumping measures will correct the injury caused to European leather shoe producers. It’s important that we act against unfair trade.” An investigation identified “clear evidence of disguised subsidies and unfair state intervention” to the leather footwear sectors in both countries, the EU said. The duties, which were criticized by importers, will be imposed progressively over a period of five months, starting at 4 percent on April 7. Annually, about 145 million pairs of Chinese shoe exports to the EU and 80 million pairs from Vietnam are covered. China can appeal the action to the World Trade Organization, but Vietnam cannot because it is not a WTO member.