Colombia Bans Chinese-Made Sombreros

Colombian authorities have stepped in to protect weavers of painstakingly hand-crafted traditional cane sombreros from mass-produced Chinese imports costing a fraction of the price. From The Economist’s Americas View blog

Carlos Bellido, who sells the original vueltiao hats outside the posh Santa Clara hotel in Cartagena’s colonial centre, says the Chinese knockoffs were flooding the market, and many people, especially tourists, opted for the cheaper version of the hats. “I have nothing against the Chinese,” he says, “[but] their hats fall apart. They get floppy and unravel.”

Faced with the competition from China, Zenú artisans complained to local authorities, who sided with the craftsmen. On January 16th the Zenú sent out members of their Indian guard, armed with ceremonial staffs, to check the hats being sold in coastal cities and confiscate the knockoffs. The following day, authorities banned imports of the Chinese version, arguing that the hat enjoys a protected designation of origin. “Free trade in the 21st century has rules, Sergio Díaz-Granados, the trade minister, told indigenous leaders at a meeting this month to coordinate the government’s response. “It’s not the law of the strongest against the weakest.”


Subscribe to CDT


Google Ads 1

Giving Assistant

Google Ads 2

Anti-censorship Tools

Life Without Walls

Click on the image to download Firefly for circumvention

Open popup

Welcome back!

CDT is a non-profit media site, and we need your support. Your contribution will help us provide more translations, breaking news, and other content you love.