DTI 'strictly' monitoring imported product surge amid RCEP implementation

DTI 'strictly' monitoring imported product surge amid RCEP implementation
Raffy Ayeng

The Department of Trade and Industry said that they are strictly monitoring the surge of imported products in the country that could hurt the local manufacturing industry, the most important effort that they have exerted so far, days before the anniversary of the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in the country this 2 June.

“The important effort that we are exerting related to RCEP is our Import Surge Monitoring System because there are concerns about the entry of foreign products into the Philippines,” said Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual during a panel discussion titled “Driving Investments to PH: Removing Roadblocks and Increasing Competitiveness” in the Philippine Economic Forum (PEF) on Monday at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

Pascual during the launch of RCEP last year, maintained that they have established an import monitoring system to detect any unwarranted surge in imports so that necessary trade remedies or policy interventions can be made immediately.

He said the mechanism aims to build confidence among local industries, especially those who were threatened by increased imports from other RCEP participating countries.

The Import Surge Monitoring System dashboard was launched by the Bureau of Import Services (BIS) last 31 May 2023.

“There are dozens of business organizations and companies that have already registered in the system,” he said during the PEF panel discussion.

He said, in particular, the sectors that are interested in this monitoring are those that are engaged in the steel sector, cement, wood, and ceramics, among others.

“So, this is an important support system that we are providing our manufacturers in the Philippines so that we can protect their market in cases of dumping from foreign producers that are availing of the reduced tariffs and other free trade agreements,” the Trade chief reported.

The Import Surge Monitoring System aims to assist the local industry and the BIS to monitor imports of products, particularly industrial products that are sensitive and conceivably the subject of a trade remedy investigation.

The mechanism is also aimed at boosting the utilization of trade remedy measures since domestic industries will be consulted to validate whether they are being harmed or adversely affected by the surge or increased imports.

The sharp and significant increase in importation is a key element to initiate an investigation on a possible trade remedy case.

The DTI, through the BIS, is mandated to conduct initiation and preliminary investigation on Safeguard Measures, Anti-Dumping, and Countervailing cases filed by the domestic industry.

Furthermore, considering the country’s trade liberalization commitments in various international fora, the Import Surge Monitoring System can assist in monitoring the levels of Philippine imports as a basis for trade negotiations pursued.

Moreover, to increase competitive advantage, the data generated therein can be used by businesses as a guide in formulating their business strategies, and plans, forecasting, and projecting market demand, among others.

Daily Tribune