Extending anti-dumping duties against footwear from China and Vietnam puts Europe's long-term commercial relations with both countries at risk, UK business secretary Peter Mandelson has warned.
He was quoted by The Financial Times as saying that there was no longer justification for the duties.
There was no evidence that the alleged dumping was hurting European manufacturers, since their market share was recovering, or that consumers would be harmed, said Mandelson.
Anti-dumping duties on footwear created a separation inside EU since it was applied to limit low price imports from China and Vietnam which took market share from small European manufacturers, particularly in Italy and Spain, Mandelson, who initiated the measure in 2006 when he was EU trade commissioner, said.
Tariffs of 16.5 percent for Chinese imports and 10 percent for Vietnamese were set for a two-year period instead of the typical five, reflecting the deep misgivings of other member states, such as the UK and the Netherlands , which have derided them as protectionist.
Large footwear retailers, such as Clarks and Adidas, have also opposed the measures.
The Commission and member states are expected to reach a final decision on the matter on November 19.
Baroness Ashton, trade commissioner, last month issued a preliminary recommendation for a 15-month extension, arguing that European market share had only just begun to recover.
However, the extension would be taken negatively by China and Vietnam and would not help our long-term trade interests with both countries, Mandelson said in Brussels.