Washington, DC, USA 08 March 2015 -- The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted in the preliminary phase of its investigations of the trade case filings by four domestic companies and the United Steelworkers (USW) union against uncoated paper imports from Australia, Brazil, China, Indonesia and Portugal.
The four manufacturers are Domtar Corporation, Packaging Corporation of America (PCA), Finch Paper, LLC, and P.H. Glatfelter Company.
The affirmative vote by the ITC means that there is a reasonable indication that imports are injuring or threatening injury to the domestic industry and paper workers' jobs. Therefore, the U.S. will proceed to investigate the USW and companies' petitions requesting duties on the unfairly-traded imports of uncoated paper products. About 130,000 workers are represented by the USW in the paper and forestry products industry, a loss of more than 60,000 jobs since 2002.
"Multiple plant shutdowns across the uncoated paper manufacturing sector have cost almost 2,500 workers their jobs since these foreign competitors began flooding our market with unfairly traded products," said USW International Vice President Jon Geenen. "These are good, family-supportive jobs that are being lost to dumped and subsidized imports. It's time to restore fair trade conditions to the market to preserve and restore the jobs that have been lost to predatory trade practices," he added.
"We continue to invest in our facilities and our people," said John D. Williams, President and CEO of Domtar. "We have a low-cost asset base, state-of-the-art technology and the most productive workers, but we can't compete when products are sold here for less than the cost of production or for less here than they are sold for in their home markets. Today's vote is an important step in our fight to end the unfair trade practices targeting the U.S. market and to restore a level playing field," the Domtar executive said.
"Today's action clearly shows that the industry and our workers were right to file petitions to stop the unfair trade that has been injuring the uncoated paper industry," said Mark Kowlzan, Chief Executive Officer of PCA. "These overseas competitors have been dumping and/or receiving illegal subsidies on the sale of their products here in our market, resulting in shutdowns and lower sales. We make a great product that can compete against fairly traded products. Our cases were filed to return fair pricing to our market consistent with international trade rules. All we are asking is that the laws against unfair trade be enforced," the PCA officer related.
"We appreciate the strong, bipartisan support shown for this critical trade case by members of Congress," said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. "We wish we didn't have to ask for help, but we thank them on behalf of the thousands of our members in the paper sector, as well as their families and communities. Unfair trade is decimating American manufacturing, and we have to fight foreign predatory trade practices every day."
The anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) petitions were filed at the U.S.
Department of Commerce (DOC) and with the ITC on January 21, 2015. The paper products covered by the petitions include uncoated paper used in copying, brochures, maps, and other applications.
The petitions ask for duties to offset the dumping of certain uncoated paper from all five countries and to offset the subsidies on imports from China and Indonesia. These petitions cover 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.
The antidumping and countervailing duty petitions indicate that imports of the subject products from the five cited countries increased 44 percent from 2011 to 2013 and 40 percent from January-September 2013 to January-September 2014. During January-September 2014, imports from the subject countries equaled 86 percent of imports from all countries and 21 percent of U.S. consumption.
The imports increased despite declining U.S. demand. Shipments of certain uncoated paper from domestic manufacturers declined by approximately eight percent from 2011 to 2013, and by nine percent from January-September 2013 to January-September 2014.
Now that the ITC has determined there is a reasonable indication that imports are materially injuring or threatening material injury to the domestic industry, the investigations will continue.
The Commerce Department announced on February 18 its decision to initiate antidumping duty investigations on uncoated paper imports from the five countries and countervailing duty investigations on imports from China and Indonesia.
The DOC will make its preliminary subsidy determinations in June and its preliminary dumping determinations in June (August if extended). If those determinations are affirmative, the DOC will instruct U.S. Customs to collect antidumping duty cash deposits to offset the subsidies.