U.S. Paper Companies Target Asia

MIAMISBURG, OH—Several U.S.-based coated paper manufacturers, led by NewPage Corp., are asking the federal government to level the playing field by imposing duties on China and Indonesia for subsidizing and dumping certain coated paper.

Antidumping and countervailing duty petitions have been filed by Appleton Coated, Sappi Fine Paper North America, as well as the United Steelworkers of America.

The petitions, filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. International Trade Commission, cover coated paper used in high-quality writing, printing and other graphic applications using sheetfed presses—whether in finished sheet form or in semi-finished roll form—with a GE brightness rating of 80 or higher.

According to NewPage, under the antidumping and countervailing duty statutes, the International Trade Commission is expected to make a preliminary injury determination in November 2009, whereas the Department of Commerce is expected to issue preliminary determinations in the countervailing duty and antidumping duty cases in December 2009 and March 2010, respectively.

The petitions contend that total imports of covered coated paper have jumped from 131,687 short tons in the first six months of 2008 to 185,422 short tons in the first six months of 2009, an increase of nearly 40 percent.

During the same period, covered coated paper shipments by domestic manufacturers are estimated to have declined by approximately 38 percent.

China and Indonesia combined are believed to account for nearly 30 percent of the U.S. market for the coated paper covered by the petitions in the first six months of this year, almost double the share they had at the same time last year. PI

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