Tariff on imported cement may cause price spike: businessman

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 23 2019 04:38 PM

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MANILA - A tax on imported cement may cause prices to rise, a businessman said Wednesday.

The Department of Trade and Industry recently said it was imposing a 4-percent tariff on imported cement to protect local manufacturers. 

But this move will not benefit consumers, according to Guenter Taus, former president of the European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines.

"I don't really understand why we have to put such a heavy duty on those imports because they basically keep prices down to level that is comfortable for consumers," Taus said in an interview with ANC's Market Edge.

Taus said he also doubts that local cement manufacturers will be able to fill the supply gap that will be left when tariffs hit imported cement, especially with the government's ambitious infrastructure plan.