Trade Secretary welcomes report into import protection

Philippines: Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez has welcomed a Tariff Commission (TC) report that has increased the safeguard duty on imported cement, but noted that his department was still reviewing the evaluations made.

Speaking on 14 August 2019, Lopez said, “We just got the full report on cement from the TC and will study the evaluations made. We welcome the finding that there was injury to the industry and that the safeguard duty should be US$5.65/t or US$0.23/bag (40kg).” The TC report said the US$0.23/bag safeguard duty was the difference between the weighted average landed cost of imported cement and the average domestic ex-plant selling price of the local cement industry for 2018.

Lopez earlier claimed that imports of cement increased from only 3558t in 2013 to more than 3Mt in 2017. The share of imports increased from only 0.02% to 15% during the same period.