Duties on newsprint bucked
MANILA, Philippines–Opposition to the proposed additional duties on imported newsprint continued to mount as foreign groups and Philippine newspapers cited the potential adverse effects on the local printing industry, educational system and the country’s standing in the international community.
In separate position papers submitted to the Tariff Commission between October and December last year, the Korean government, Delegation of European Union to the Philippines, Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Philippines, Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp., Philippine Daily Inquirer Inc., Alliance Media Printing Inc., FEP Printing Corp., and Newspaper Paraphernalia Inc. said that granting the petition of Trust International Paper Corp. (Tipco) for additional duties may only further strengthen the latter’s monopolistic hold on the domestic newsprint industry.
Tipco sought safeguard duties on imported newsprint back in 2013, explaining that “increased imports have caused serious injury to the local newsprint industry as indicated in their declining market share, production, sales, capacity utilization, productivity, profitability, price suppression, depression and undercutting.”
EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux noted that if the proposed safeguard measures were adopted, these will be “harmful to the international trade since they will automatically affect all trading parties, including those which make imports to the Philippines at fair conditions.”
Ledoux pointed out that the domestic newsprint industry had already been in a difficult economic situation since 2006 and there was no guarantee that its situation would improve if additional duties were imposed.
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