Tag Archives: Ukraine

Ironing boards from Ukraine

2 Jul


Ironing out a few problems

It’s fascinating to see just how many areas of life the EU gets involved in.

Today, for example, it ruled on whether a company in Ukraine is harming European firms by selling ironing boards more cheaply than it would do in its own country.

This is against the rules.

A couple of years ago the European Commission investigated the ironing board market and decided the Ukrainian variety were too cheap so imposed a 10% tax on imports from that country to redress the balance.

The Ukrainian ironing board company complained and today the Council of Ministers reduced it to 7%.

Oh, and just in case you’re not sure what sort of thing we’re talking about, the official document helpfully describes for us the:

“ironing boards, whether or not free-standing, with or without a steam soaking and/or heating top and/or blowing top, including sleeve boards, and essential parts thereof, i.e. the legs, the top and the iron rest, originating in Ukraine.”

It’s worth keeping tabs on because what’s known in trade circles as “dumping” of products can go from the relatively technical to a full-blown trade dispute.

Because on Wednesday, the European Commission announced the start of a similar investigation, this time concerning China and whether it was exporting a type of wireless modem into the EU market too cheaply.

The Chinese government launched a stinging attack in response, saying it had “grave concerns” about what the EU was doing.

Complicated, isn’t it? I’ll stick to the ironing.

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