A preliminary safeguard in-vestigation on newsprint imports was launched by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in response to the claims by the Trust International Paper Corp. (Tipco) that the importation is hurting the local newsprint manufacturing industry.
The DTI conducted the investigation after Tipco filed a petition that stated that “increased imports have caused serious injury to the local newsprint industry,” which the group said is evidenced by their “declining market share, production, sales, capacity utilization, productivity, profitability, price suppression, depression and undercutting.”
Tipco accounts for 100 percent of the total production of newsprint in the country.
Newsprint is the preferred type of paper used in the production of newspapers, books, magazines, notebooks and wrappers due to its low cost. In 2008, the country imported newsprint mostly from the United Kingdom and China.
Based on its review of the evidence submitted together with the petition, the DTI said in a statement that “a prima facie case exists to justify the initiation of a preliminary safeguards investigation.”
DTI called on all interested parties to submit their replies and other evidences or pieces of information that could be of relevance to the investigation.
“The investigation will make a preliminary determination whether the increasing volume of imported newsprint is causing serious injury to the local producer of newsprint. If DTI’s preliminary determi-nation is positive, the case will be for-warded to the Tariff
Commission which will con-duct its formal investigation of the petition,” the DTI said in the statement.
In 2007, newsprint imports reached only 2,956 metric tons, but it grew to 26,356 metric tons (MT) in 2011. In the first half 2012, imported newsprint reached 31,462 MT.
Under the Safeguard Measures Act or Republic Act 8800, safe-guard measures are imposed on imported competitive products to redress serious injury or threat of serious injury to domestic producers caused by increased importation of such products.
Jan Erick Tutaan