PH notifies WTO of safeguard probe on float glass

By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Philippines has notified the WTO that it initiated on 19 February 2019 a safeguard investigation on clear and tinted float glass.

Based on its website, the global trading body said the Philippines notified the WTO’s Committee on Safeguards on March 13, 2019.

Products subject to the investigation are clear and tinted float glass classified under AHTN Codes 7005.29.90 (clear float glass), 7005.21.90 (tinted float glass), including 7005.10.90 (reflective glass).

The investigation was initiated on the basis of the application from the Philippine float glass industry that increased imports of clear and tinted float glass from various countries are the substantial cause of serious injury to the domestic industry in terms of declining market share, production, sales, capacity utilization, incurred losses, price depression, and undercutting.

The investigation has been initiated to determine whether safeguard measures are warranted.

In a document accompanying the notification, it is indicated, among other things, as follows:

“Interested parties are invited to submit their comments and position on the matter, including their views on whether the imposition of a safeguard measure is in the public interest. Submissions may be made to the Bureau of Import Services (BIS), Department of Trade and Industry, 3rd Floor, Tara Building, #389 Senator Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City, within five (5) days from the date of publication of this notice.”

A safeguard investigation seeks to determine whether increased imports of a product are causing, or is threatening to cause, serious injury to a domestic industry.

During a safeguard investigation, importers, exporters and other interested parties may present evidence and views and respond to the presentations of other parties.

A WTO member may take a safeguard action (i.e. restrict imports of a product temporarily) only if the increased imports of the product are found to be causing, or threatening to cause, serious injury.

On February 19, 2019, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez issued a notice of the initiation of a preliminary investigation on the application for safeguard measure on the importation of clear and tinted float glass from various countries docketed as SG Case No SG01-2019.