Official with EU's delegation to Philippines says that country should not use safeguard measures for newsprint imports, calls it a 'nuclear option' with negative effects on end product prices and newsprint trade partners, suggests antidumping measures

, April 14, 2014 () – Section: Business News - The Delegation of European Union to the Philippines (EU) Head of Economic and Trade Section Walter van Hattum said safeguard measures are ineffective decision on the issue of imported newsprints.

This is after the reports of increasing volume of imported newsprints in the past years affecting the local newsprint industry.

Van Hattum in an interview said that implementing safeguard measures is a 'nuclear option' as it will have negative effects on prices of end products and all the newsprint trade partners of the country.

The safeguard is basically directed towards the whole world, not directed towards one country, and you do that because you want to protect your local industry because you are arguing that that industry is unjustfully targeted, Van Hattum said.

It's really a drastic measure as you tell your trading partners: We don't want your imports anymore. You need to prove your causality and must prove that it has a negative impact from your country. Now for newsprint, it will affect the end product, spike the price of newsprint if you impose safeguards, he added.

It's really the nuclear option... In general, it's better to avoid using safeguards. We only use that in case of a real emergency because it's such a draconian measure. It goes against all your trading partners, the EU official here citing the case might be better solved with anti-dumping measures.

In 2013, the Trust International Paper Corporation (TIPCO) submitted a petition to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) showing the increasing imports of newsprint which is slowing down the newsprint industry here.

From 2007, newsprint imports were pegged at 2,956 metric tons (MT). It increased by 792 percent to 26,356 MT in 2011 and even higher in 2012 with 31,462 MT of imported newsprints.

The DTI will soon release its recommendation on this issue.

According to Republic Act 8800 or the Safeguard Measures Act, it declares the State to provide safeguard measures to protect local players against rampant imports that threaten the domestic industries.

Safeguard measures include tariff increase and quantitative restrictions such as import quota and import licensing. - PNA

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