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Philippines: additional tariffs on glass imports

The Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has responded to the appeal by Asahi Glass Philippines, the country“s largest glass manufacturer, and will impose additional tariffs as provision…

The Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has responded to the appeal by Asahi Glass Philippines, the country“s largest glass manufacturer, and will impose additional tariffs as provisional safeguard measures on the import of glass mirrors and float glass. Trade and Industry Secretary Manuel A. Roxas II said the government needs to protect the industry from an influx of cheap imports. “We have to provide protection to our local glass industry which is besieged by the surge in imported glass mirrors and float glass.” Mr. Roxas said in a press statement. Asahi Glass Philippines, an affiliate of Japan-based Asahi Glass Co. Ltd., asked the DTI on 8 April 2003 to investigate increases in figured glass imports and impose safeguard measures. The provisional measures will come in the form of a cash bond of PHP 3,650 per metric ton of imported glass mirrors. Effectiveness of the new tariffs will not exceed 200 days from the date of issue of the order by the Bureau of Customs. Asahi Glass Philippines claims that the uncontrolled entry of imported figured glass and glass mirrors has damaged the local glass secotr. It said imports have limited the market share of the local industry and lead to loss of sales and lower production. DTI data showed that figured glass, used for window, partitions, screens, doors and fluorescent fixtures, came mostly from China, Thailand and South Africa. Glass mirrors, used for bathroom furniture, projection screens and display cases, came principally from China, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea. DTI data showed that the domestic glass sector“s production capacity dropped to 434,000 cases from 768,000 cases in 1997. Republic Act 8800, otherwise known as the Safeguard Measures Act, mandates the DTI to assess protests related to importation. Safeguard measures may be in the form of increases in tariffs, imposition of quantitative restrictions or a combination of the measures. Prior to the damage caused by glass imports, Asahi Glass Philippines decided to cease manufacturing tempered glass for autos as it has been suffering from low capacity utilization.

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