On October 6,2021,the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry(DTI)sent a formal letter to the China Iron and Steel Association(CISA),announcing that the Philippines would terminate the safeguard investigations on galvanized sheets and aluminized zinc sheets,and would not take any safeguard measures against Chinese products.So far,lawyer Wenjie QIAN,senior partner of Gaopeng&Partners representing the CISA and 26 Chinese export companies,has won a complete victory in the aforesaid investigations.
Background:On June 17,2020,the Philippines launched three safeguard investigations on galvanized sheets,aluminized zinc sheets,and prepainted sheets respectively.Among them,the applicant for the case of galvanized sheet is Philippine Puyat Steel Corporation,and the applicant for the case of aluminized zinc sheets is Sonic Steel Industries Inc.Both companies required the Philippine government to take safeguard measures against exporters,mainly Chinese companies.
Upon the investigation by the Philippines,the CISA quickly united 26 Chinese exporters and engaged lawyer Wenjie QIAN of Gaopeng&Partners to defend for non-damage.After careful study of the case materials,we found that the industry data disclosed by the DTI did indicate a certain degree of economic depression in the domestic industry in the Philippines,but these data were too antiquated,and most economic indicators were only updated to 2018.Since the applicants were not listed,it was difficult for us to verify the accuracy of the relevant data through public channels,nor could we access the latest data.
In order to formulate a more effective defense strategy,we tried to learn about the current status of the applicants and the local market dynamics from 26 exporters and their Filipino customers one by one.Through meticulous interviews,we found that the applicantsundefined production capacity was so limited that they needed to import a large number of products under investigation from China every year.Although the applicants had invested to expand capacity in the Philippines,the needs of the local market could not be met in a short term.Based on the above facts,we encouraged Chinese exporters to collect evidence from the perspective of public interests,and pointed out to the DTI:Given its special geographical location and frequent natural disasters,the Philippines would have annually increasing demand for the products under investigation in the future,but the applicants’production capacity was too limited to meet the local market demand.Therefore,if safeguard measures were taken in this case,it would lead to a shortage of supply,which would seriously affect the progress and cost of the residential housing under construction,thus causing serious damage to the domestic public interests of the Philippines.
After more than a year of investigation,the Philippine DTI finally accepted our claims,rejected the applicantsundefined allegations on the grounds of public interests,and terminated the safeguard investigations on the aforementioned products.
This success of Gaopeng&Partners,representing the CISA and 26 Chinese export companies in the Philippine safeguard investigations,protects the interests of Chinaundefineds export industry involving galvanized sheets and aluminized zinc sheets,and maintains the relevant companiesundefined export market share in the Philippines.At the same time,the export companies need to be cautious that:The Philippine DTI has confirmed in these investigations that the number of investigated products imported from China has increased rapidly in recent years,accounting for more than 99%of the total Philippine imports,and has caused serious damage to the domestic industry in the Philippines.In this situation,if Chinese exporters lower the price of their products,the applicants will be likely to initiate anti-dumping investigations on galvanized sheets,aluminized zinc sheets,and prepainted sheets.At that time,the export of related products will face more serious taxation risks and uncertainties.
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