Paper Battle to Be Decided in October
WASHINGTON, DC—The Commerce Department (DOC) has issued final anti-dumping and countervailing duty margins on coated paper imports from China and Indonesia, providing a victory for domestic paper producers that may be short lived. The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) will hold a final vote next month to ultimately determine whether domestic paper producers were harmed by the subject imports.
U.S.-based paper manufacturers and their Indonesian and Chinese counterparts have been down this road before. In 2007, the DOC levied anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD) against Chinese, Indonesian and Korean paper imports, only to have it overturned by the ITC in a 5-1 vote. That process was initiated by a complaint filed by NewPage Corp.
This current case was brought last September following a complaint by NewPage, Appleton Coated, Sappi Fine Paper North America and the United Steelworkers.
The anti-dumping margins announced by DOC on imports from Indonesia were 20.13 percent and ranged from 7.6 percent to 135.83 percent on imports from China. Countervailing duties on products from Indonesia will be subject to tariffs of 17.94 percent and on Chinese imports ranging from 17.64 percent to 178.03 percent. If the ITC votes affirmatively in its upcoming injury determination, these rates will apply for the term of the relief. The ITC will vote on Oct. 19 and the transmittal of its views to DOC will occur on Nov. 4.
The companies and the USW filed unfair trade cases with the DOC and ITC on Sept. 23, 2009, 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.