The national ceramic producing sector yesterday defended the possibility of applying a tariff surcharge to imports of flat ceramics to avoid a greater impact on the local industry.
Andrés Robalino, executive director of the Chamber of Industries, Production and Employment of Cuenca, pointed out that this measure that is analyzed in the Government is required due to an imbalance that is registered in the market.
At the beginning of this month, the Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investments and Fisheries summoned the parties involved in the business within an investigation that it initiated in the matter of safeguarding.
It is intended to apply a tariff surcharge equivalent to the difference between the value $ 0.44 / kg and the CIF value declared by the importer. This is rejected by foreign ceramic merchants.
Robalino, who exposes the concern of local producers, pointed out that while imports grew 217% in the last five years, national production decreased 9% and has lost 17% of the market.
Local manufacturers allege that low prices for imported ceramics have led to reduced profitability in order to compete.
National production is concentrated in the southern zone, where there are four industries.
Robalino affirmed that the application of a safeguard is a trade defense measure and that what has been requested is in a smaller proportion than what has been applied in other nations in this sector.
The Guayaquil Chamber of Commerce indicated that if safeguards are once again imposed on the importing sector, the increase would be almost 100% in the price of the cheapest ceramic that the consumer buys. (I)