Time to review trade laws

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    The Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) is asking government to review its trade laws to maximize the use of safeguard measures, anti-dumping law, countervailing law, among others in warding off imports that are dumped into the country.

    FPI chairman Jesus Arranza in separate letters to President Duterte and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said now is the time to recalibrate the country’s trade policies to protect local industries and consumers from the influx of cheaper and substandard imported goods.

    Arranza said the use of trade measures will particularly be useful against imports sourced from countries that subsidize these industries which seek to gain footing overseas to offset lost sales in their own markets due to the pandemic.

    Arranza said other countries are already moving not just to boost their exports but also to protect their local manufacturers from foreign competition.

    China and the United States are seeing gains in their initiatives to boost exports. In July, China’s merchandise shipments went up 7.2 percent while the US saw its total exports climb 9.4 percent.

    “Local industries are also battling a different kind of pandemic, and this is COVID-19 in the form of dumping of goods, so we need to review our
    policies and stop deciding on trade issues like we are still in the old normal.

    The least we prepare, the worst it will hit us. Philippine businesses are also in danger of ending up in incinerators,” Arranza said.

    He said even the US, the chief purveyor of globalization and free trade, “was not even embarrassed when they incorporated a ‘Buy American’ provision in their stimulus plan.”

    Arranza said the launch of the Duterte administration’s“Maging BUYani – Buy Local, Go Lokal” will greatly help local producers and manufacturers severely affected by the pandemic to recover and grow.

    The FPI will also be re-launching the “Buy Pinoy, Buy Local” movement to support the manufacturing sector.