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United Steelworkers & Four American Paper Manufacturers Win Illegal Trade Practices Case Against China, Indonesia, Brazil, Portugal & Australia

Published Wednesday, February 10, 2016

(WASHINGTON, D.C) – The United Steelworkers (USW) and four American Paper Manufacturers have won their Illegal Trade Practices Case against China, Indonesia, Brazil, Portugal and Australia.  The unanimous and affirmative vote was issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) earlier this week on the petitions brought at both the ITC and the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) on January 21st, 2015 by the USW and the U.S. Paper Manufacturers – and brings much needed relief to the industry.

The ITC has found that dumped, unfairly priced imports of certain types of uncoated paper in sheets from China, Indonesia, Brazil, Portugal and Australia are causing material injury.  They also found that during that same time, illegally subsidized imports from China and Indonesia were also causing material injury.

During the period of these investigations, eight U.S. Mills that produce uncoated paper were forced to close.  They had been faced with a dramatic increase in unfairly traded imports which resulted in the loss of thousands of paper jobs.  Unfairly priced imports from the five countries named in the petitions were decimating U.S. Producers and Workers.  

The effort to stop the dumping and subsidies was supported by dozens of Congressional and state officials from both parties, USW Representatives said.      

Dumping occurs when a product is sold in the United States at a price below what it costs to produce or what it is sold for in the home country.  Countervailing duties are imposed on imports that are subsidized by foreign governments.  Last month, Commerce determined dumping margins ranging up to 222.46% against the five countries and subsidy rates of up to 176.75% against China and Indonesia.

The petitions had asked the ITC and Commerce, the agencies responsible for investigating illegal trade practices, to impose duties to offset the dumping from all five countries and to offset the subsidies on imports from China and Indonesia.  

The duties identified by Commerce will be applied as of the date the anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders are published in the Federal Register.

The petitions covered all uncoated paper in sheets (including cut-size and folio), weighing between 40 and 150 gsm, and having a GE brightness level of 85 or higher, typically used in copy machines and sheet-fed printers.

“Predatory trade practices by China and other countries have targeted the U.S. Paper Sector,” USW International Vice President Jon Geenen said. “The results have been ‘devastating’ for our members and their families and communities.  America’s Paper Sector is competitive when the rules are ‘fair’ and when they’re ‘enforced.’  This decision will help stabilize and, hopefully, regain production.”  

USW International President Leo Gerard said: “Trade cases are all too often a ‘necessary tool’ to ‘ensure’ fair competition.  Our Members ‘should not have to face unfair and predatory trade practices.’  Their government should be ‘initiating action,’ but if they do not, ‘we must.’  In partnership with the four petitioning companies and supported by dozens of elected officials from across the country, we ‘made clear’ that we would ‘not cede our market’ to unfair competition.  The paper sector supports thousands of good, family-supportive jobs all across the country and ‘we owe it’ to the workers to ‘ensure’ that when they work hard and ‘play by the rules’, they’ll have a ‘good shot’ at a decent life.”     

The four manufacturers are Packaging Corporation of America (PCA), Domtar Corporation, Finch Paper LLC and P.H. Glatfelter Company.

The USW represents 850,000 Workers in North America who are employed in many industries, including Metals, Rubber, Chemicals, Paper, Oil Refining and the Service and Public Sectors.

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