EU keeps tariffs on green lightbulbs

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Forced to decide between protectionism and environmentalism, EU commissioners plumped for the later last week when they voted to retain import taxes on Chinese energysaving light bulbs for another year.

Retailers have been urging commissioners to reject the tariffs on low-light bulbs from China, which added 66% to their dockside price. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) described the existing measures as "blatant protectionism", claiming it shields inefficient European manufacturers at the expense of customers and the environment.

The duties were introduced in 2002 in response to claims by major EU bulb makers that China was selling at below cost price. It is reported that out of the four European producers, only Germany's Osram AG had pushed for retention, allegedly in an effort to gain an...

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