ITC Moving Forward with Investigation

WASHINGTON, DC—The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) made a preliminary determination and voted unanimously to proceed with a full investigation of coated paper imports from China and Indonesia, according to NewPage Corp.

NewPage, Appleton Coated, Sappi Fine Paper North America and the United Steelworkers (USW) filed unfair trade cases on Sept. 23 with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the ITC alleging that certain coated paper from China and Indonesia had been dumped and subsidized, resulting in injury to the domestic industry and its employees. The paper products covered by the petitions include coated paper used in high-quality writing, printing and other graphic applications using sheetfed presses with a GE brightness rating of 80 or higher and weighing up to 340 grams per square meter.

The petitions filed by the companies and the USW estimate that total imports of covered coated paper skyrocketed by nearly 40 percent during the first six months of 2009 compared with a similar period of time in 2008. During the same period, shipments of paper covered by the domestic manufacturers’ petitions are estimated to have declined by approximately 38 percent. China and Indonesia together almost doubled their share of the U.S. market over the same period and now are believed to account for nearly 30 percent of the U.S. market.

The next steps following this affirmative vote by the ITC comes in December when the Commerce Department is expected to issue preliminary determinations in the countervailing duty case, and in March 2010 with respect to the antidumping duty case. These trade cases are expected to take about a year to complete.

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