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Paper Companies Call for Dumping Investigation

Washington, D.C, USA 24 January 2015 -- Four US papermakers--Domtar Corp., Packaging Corp. of America, Finch Paper LLC and P.H. Glatfelter Co.--are lodging petitions with the US Dept. of Commerce and the International Trade Commission to protest "dumping" in the US of uncoated, sheeted printing and copying papers. The protesting companies are seeking duties on these papers coming from China, Indonesia, Brazil, Portugal and Australia. The petitioners allege that the papers in question are being sold too cheaply to US buyers and, further, that the suppliers in China and Indonesia are receiving government subsidies. The US market for the paper covered by the petitions is estimated to be about US $4.5 billion annually.

John D. Williams, president and CEO of Domtar, said in a statement, "Competition makes us a better, stronger company, but it must be fair competition. This petition asks the government to look at the facts and make any adjustments required to establish a level playing field."

Mark Wilde, analyst with BMO Capital Markets Corp., noted that imports of uncoated paper have been surging. He pointed out that North American uncoated white paper shipments in 2014 dropped 8.1%, yet North American demand was down just 4.3%--evidence of the effects of imports on US production. He continued, "In our view, there is likely to be some substance to this case because of how the industry functions around the world." He also noted that the situation is complicated by the rise in the US dollar and slow growth in many offshore markets. "At the same time," he said, "a stronger US dollar is making sales to the US market more financially attractive for offshore producers."

The paper company petitions have been seconded by the American Forest & Paper Association, which said in a statement, "The petitions for an anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigation...are an important part of ensuring robust and competitive global markets. We encourage the Commerce Department and the International Trade Commission to review carefully the evidence provided and to make a determination as quickly as possible."


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