FPI seeks review of trade laws

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    The Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) has urged the government to recalibrate trade policies to help local industries and protect consumers from the entry of lower priced and substandard imports amid the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

    FPI chairman Jesus Arranza expressed the group’s support to the “Buy Filipino” advocacy for locally-made construction materials as part of the relaunch of its “Buy Pinoy, Buy Local” campaign.

    “Now is the time to review trade laws to maximize the use of safeguard measures, antidumping law, countervailing law, among others in warding off imports that are dumped into the country,” Arranza said in a statement.

    The FPI has also sent letters to President Duterte and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez to convey the concerns of local industries on the entry of dumped and substandard goods.

    He said the Department of Trade and Industry’s “MagingBUYani -Buy Local, Go Lokal” campaign to encourage Filipino consumers to purchase fresh local produce and manufactured goods would greatly help in the recovery of domestic manufacturers hit hard by the pandemic.

    Arranza expressed fear of the possible influx of more imported goods, including substandard products, in the country because other nations will want to get a share of a dwindling global market.

    Domestic manufacturing firms have banded together to express full support to the government’s prioritization of local products and construction materials for infrastructure and public works projects, as provided for in the recently signed Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2.

    These include the Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines Philippine Iron and Steel Institute. —Irma Isip