Philippine millers said they will continue to push for the permanent implementation of the dumping duty against Turkish flour despite the threat of retaliatory tariffs from Turkey.
“The threat of imposing retaliatory tariffs does not faze us at all,” said Ric Pinca, executive director of the Philippine Association of Flour Millers (PAFMIL), which filed the anti-dumping petition against Turkish flour.
“In fact, their threat only served to strengthen our resolve to fight Turkish flour dumping in the Philippines, even more knowing that we have a very strong case against Turkish flour millers and their not so subtle threat of retaliating with tariffs is an obvious sign of panic on their side,” Pinca added.
To recall, the Department of Agriculture imposed a provisional anti-dumping duty on Turkish flour in April this year after finding that some Turkish flour millers were dumping flour in the Philippines. The dumping duty ranges from 2.28 percent to 39.26 percent. Dumping duties are imposed on top of the regular 7 percent import duty.
Dumping is the export of products at prices lower than the domestic prices of these products. The World Trade Organization (WTO) disallows dumping and considers it an unfair trade practice.
Pinca said Turkish exporters’ talk of retaliatory tariffs is obviously meant to intimidate Philippine tariff officials investigating the flour dumping charges against Turkish flour millers.
The PAFMIL official was referring to a report quoting Turkish flour spokesman Yuksel Tezcan as saying that Turkey “will be raising tariffs on some Philippine products if it (Philippines) will continue to intimidate us such as the anti-dumping case filed against our flour exporters.”
Pinca said Philippine tariff officials should not pay any attention to this threat. He said Turkey should argue its case with the Tariff Commission instead of issuing threats that will not serve to resolve the dumping issue.
“Threats of retaliation have no place in a civil world where issues are resolved according to laws and accepted civil practices. Threats are the refuge of bullies,” he added.
PAFMIL said the domestic price of flour in Turkey was $600 in 2010 and 2011 yet their export prices to the Philippines were only $276 and $388 per metric ton, respectively. In 2012, the domestic price of flour in Turkey was $470 per metric ton yet its export price to Manila was only $348 per metric ton.
These figures show that Turkey was dumping flour to the Philippines “and the anti-dumping duty is our response to this unfair trade practice by Turkey,” Pinca explained.
According to Pinca, Turkey is not in any position to invoke fair trade because it is the one engaged in unfair trade. It wants to export flour to Manila at only 7 percent duty, yet for the Philippines to export flour to Turkey, the import duty is 103 percent.
“All Filipinos should unite against this threat from Turkey. We should not allow a foreign country to dictate our actions nor should we allow another country to control a vital food requirement,” Pinca said.