DTI junks safeguard measures on GI imports

Posted on 06 October 2021

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has dismissed the petitions for safeguard measures on imports of galvanized iron sheets, coils and strips, as well as aluminum zinc sheet and coils.

In Department Administrative Order 21-06 signed by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, the DTI has ordered the dismissal of the safeguard measures investigation on the petitions filed by Puyat Steel Corp. for GI sheets, coils and strips, as well as pre-painted GI (PPGI)  and pre-painted aluminum zinc (PPGL).

Based on its preliminary investigation, the DTI said “the application of safeguard measures on the subject products at this time is not in the public interest.”

The DTI looked at Puyat Steel’s ability to cater to demand for the products and found the petitioner’s existing capacity to manufacture can not sufficiently supply the requirements of the domestic market.

As such, the DTI said imposing safeguard measures at this time could lead to price increases in GI sheets, coils and strips as well as to PPGI and PPGL including other coated products and painted strips.

It also said safeguard measures could lead to reduced level of imports and a shortage in supply that may have detrimental effects on the construction and housing sector using the products.

“Considering further that demand for housing currently exceeds supply, import restrictions on GI sheets, coils and strips as well as PPGI and PPGL including other coated products and painted strips will drive up the costs of these products and consequently the costs of building residential homes,” the DTI said.

In a separate notice, the DTI said it terminated the preliminary investigation on the petition for safeguard measures on aluminum zinc sheet and coils after petitioner Sonic Steel Industries Inc. withdrew its application.

Sonic’s move was based on the issuance of DTI Department Administrative Order 20-10 requiring all hot-dip metallic-coated and pre-painted galvanized steel coils and sheets for roofing and general applications to have a minimum total coated thickness of 0.4 mm, which in effect prohibits the manufacture and sale of products below such specification.

Sonic claimed the bulk of the surge in imports on which the safeguard measures applications were hinged on, are products below the 0.4 mm specification.

“Thus, the applications for safeguard measure will become an exercise in futility, if not moot and academic, since these items are no longer allowed to be manufactured,” the DTI said.

Republic Act 8800 or the Safeguard Measures Act allows the government to impose safeguard duties on imports that have caused serious injury to the domestic industry.

Source : Philstar