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Paper Companies Welcome ITC’s Finding on Coated Paper Imports

October 22, 2010
WASHINGTON, DC—Oct. 22, 2010—Appleton Coated LLC, NewPage Corp., and Sappi Fine Paper North America, together with the United Steelworkers (USW), welcomed the U.S. International Trade Commission's (ITC) finding today that imports of coated paper from China and Indonesia are causing material injury to U.S. producers and workers. That finding was based on a 6-0 vote by the bipartisan commission.

The ITC decision clears the way for the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) to impose antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of coated free sheet paper from these countries. On Sept. 21, 2010, the agency issued its final determination citing imports from China and Indonesia as being both dumped and subsidized by significant margins.

The DOC found that producers or exporters dumped coated paper in the United States at margins of 7.6-135.83 percent for China, and 20.13 percent for Indonesia. The agency also determined that these producers or exporters received countervailable subsidies ranging from 17.64-178.03 percent for China, and 17.94 percent for Indonesia.

Coated paper covered by the cases is used in many high-end commercial printing applications, including annual reports, coffee table books, magazines and brochures.

"NewPage is very pleased with the International Trade Commission's finding on injury," said George Martin, president and chief executive officer of NewPage. "Today's determination underscores the effects of unfair competition on the U.S. industry, where government subsidies and dumping have suppressed prices and forced mill closures," said Martin. "The decision will allow the Commerce Department to impose duties to offset the significant levels of dumping and government subsidies that were found to exist last month." Martin added, "We will remain committed to this effort and it's important to remember that we are willing to compete with anyone in the world as long as we have a level playing field."

"We've waited a long time for this decision, which will help restore a competitive market," added Mark Gardner, president and chief executive officer of Sappi Fine Paper North America. "For far too long, some of our competitors have been able to get away with unfair and illegal dumping and subsidies to sell their products. The ITC's decision puts us one step closer to being able to compete fairly based on the quality of our products, the investments we make in our mills, equipment and people, and the sustainable manufacturing and procurement practices we implement and pursue," said Gardner.

Sandra Van Ert, president and chief executive officer of Appleton Coated LLC said, "The ITC finding of injury is testimony to what we, our workers and the communities in which we operate have been experiencing for far too long. In this instance, our trade laws have worked and will help restore not only legal competition in the marketplace, but the faith of our employees that work hard, play by the rules and only want a fair chance to compete."

Jon Geenen, USW international vice president, declared, "Today's decision shows that these predatory trade practices by the Chinese and Indonesian exporters are unfair, illegal and injurious to our employers and their workers. We will not ignore the efforts of our foreign competitors who want to violate international trade standards to succeed at the expense of our union members' jobs -- that's a fight we'll never back away from."

Once the final antidumping and countervailing duty orders are published in the Federal Register, the U.S. Customs agency will begin applying duties on Chinese and Indonesian coated paper imports.

The companies and the USW filed unfair trade cases Sept. 23, 2009 with the Commerce Dept. 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 domestic industry has experienced capacity reductions and under-utilization resulting in the loss of jobs in communities all across the country. The petitions show that unfairly traded imports from China and Indonesia are a significant contributor to that underutilization of capacity, mill closures and resultant job loss.

The three companies employ about 6,000 production workers represented by the USW at 20 paper mills operating in seven states.

About Appleton Coated

Appleton Coated, headquartered in Combined Locks, WI, provides focused market leadership in premium coated and specialty paper products. The Appleton Coated product portfolio includes a range of commercial printing and book publishing papers marketed under the Utopia® brand as well as specialty and private label products. Known for their performance, aesthetics, and environmental attributes, Appleton Coated manufactures their products in a state-of-the-art facility in Combined Locks, Wisconsin, hosting the newest papermaking machine of its type in North America. For more information please visit our website at www.appletoncoated.com/.

About NewPage Corp.
Headquartered in Miamisburg, OH, NewPage Corp. is the largest coated paper manufacturer in North America, based on production capacity, with $3.1 billion in net sales for the year ended December 31, 2009. The company's product portfolio is the broadest in North America and includes coated freesheet, coated groundwood, supercalendered, newsprint and specialty papers. These papers are used for corporate collateral, commercial printing, magazines, catalogs, books, coupons, inserts, newspapers, packaging applications and direct mail advertising.

NewPage owns paper mills in Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Nova Scotia, Canada. These mills have a total annual production capacity of approximately 4.4 million tons of paper, including approximately 3.2 million tons of coated paper, approximately 1.0 million tons of uncoated paper and approximately 200,000 tons of specialty paper. For more information, visit www.NewPageCorp.com.

About Sappi Fine Paper North America
Sappi Fine Paper North America (SFPNA) is a leading North American producer of coated fine paper used in premium magazines, catalogues, books and high-end print advertising. Headquartered in Boston, Sappi Fine Paper North America is known for innovation and quality. Its brand names, including McCoy, Opus, Somerset and Flo, are some of the industry's most widely recognized and specified. SFPNA is a division of Sappi Limited (NYSE, JSE), a global company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with manufacturing operations on four continents in 10 countries, sales offices in 50 countries, and customers in over 100 countries around the world. Learn more about Sappi Fine Paper North America at: www.sappi.com/na/.

About the United Steelworkers
The United Steelworkers (USW) is a North American union headquartered in Pittsburgh. The union negotiates labor agreements representing 850,000 active workers employed in a variety of major industries that include metals, mining, pulp, paper, timber, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto parts, oil, and energy renewables. The USW also represents service and professional sector workers to include healthcare, municipalities and pharmaceuticals. For more information: www.usw.org.
 
Source: Press release.
 

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