Preliminary Tariffs Imposed Against Asian Paper Sources

WASHINGTON, DC—The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) is levying dumping duties against certain coated paper imports from China and Indonesia. The preliminary tariffs range from 30.92 percent to 89.71 percent for China, with an all-China rate of 135.80 percent. A single rate of 10.62 percent is being applied to all Indonesian coated paper producers. These margins would be in addition to the countervailing duties applied in March, which would make the overall duties 43.65 percent for China and 28.1 percent for Indonesia.

A final resolution on the unfair trade cases is expected later in the year.

“Once all of the evidence has been reviewed, the facts of the market will show that APP has not illegally dumped paper in the United States,” said Terry Hunley, acting president, Asia Pulp and Paper Americas (APP). “We have seen unfavorable preliminary rulings in the past only to have them rejected in the final analysis because a complete review of the paper market confirms the U.S. industry has not been injured and duties are unwarranted. That will be the end result here, too.”

U.S. paper companies NewPage Corp., Sappi Fine Paper and Appleton Coated Papers, along with the United Steelworkers, filed unfair trade cases on Sept. 23, 2009, with the DOC and the U.S. International Trade Commission 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 in sheet form used in high-quality writing, printing and other graphic applications, with a GE brightness rating of 80 or higher and weighing up to 340 grams per square meter.

“Commerce’s recognition of the impact that dumped coated paper products have had sends a message that our government is interested in restoring a competitive market in coated paper,” said Mark Gardner, president and CEO of Sappi Fine Paper North America. “From day one, our goal has been to restore a level playing field and that’s what our case is all about. Dumping has had a dramatic adverse impact on our industry and our economy as a whole and Commerce’s decision opens the door to addressing this unfair practice.”

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