Industry, Union Call Five-Year Extension of Duties on Coated Freesheet Paper Imports Important Step
WASHINGTON — December 6, 2016 — Verso Corp., Sappi North America and Appleton Coated LLC, together with the United Steelworkers (USW), have welcomed the extension of duties on imports of certain coated paper from China and Indonesia as an important step to ensure continuing fair market conditions for the domestic market. The decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to continue existing duties resulted from a petition filed under a so-called "sunset review.. Under existing law, remedial tariffs that are authorized in antidumping and countervailing duty cases are subject to review every five years under sunset review procedures. The original effort to address unfair trade for the subject products was decided in November 2010. The four petitioners requested extension of relief to help ensure that fair market conditions would enable producers to continue to compete in the market.
In September 2009, petitions were filed by NewPage Corp. (since then acquired by Verso), Sappi North America, Appleton Coated LLC and the USW with the Department of Commerce and the ITC. The petitions alleged that certain coated paper from China and Indonesia had been subsidized and dumped in the United States, resulting in injury to the domestic industry and its employees.
In November 2010, relief was provided following affirmative findings of dumping and subsidization by Commerce and the threat of material injury by the ITC.
The decision by the Department of Commerce and the affirmative findings by the ITC resulted in the imposition of remedial tariffs on imports of coated paper from China at margins ranging from 3.64% to 135.84% for dumping and at margins ranging from 19.46% to 202.84% for existing subsidies. For Indonesia, dumping margins were assessed at 17.46% and for subsidies at 20.13%.
The imposition of duties resulted in the dramatic decline of imports from both China and Indonesia and the restoration of fair market conditions.
Today, there are thousands of workers with good, family supportive wages. The affirmative decision in the sunset review will help to maintain fair market conditions. Coated paper is generally used for printing multicolored graphics for books, catalogues, magazines and other commercial printing applications.
"Today's decision will help ensure that the market for coated paper will remain competitive and that unfair trade practices of companies in China and Indonesia continue to be addressed," said Verso Corp. Senior Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Product Development Michael A. Weinhold. "We've fought for years to make sure our laws against unfair trade work as intended and that Chinese and Indonesian dumping and subsidies are addressed. The extension of existing orders is a welcome step in promoting fair trade."
"Our goal has always been to be able to compete fairly based on the quality of our products so that we can continue to invest in our mills, equipment and people as well as the sustainable manufacturing and procurement practices we implement and pursue," said Mark Gardner, President and CEO of Sappi North America. "The subsidies and dumping actions of China and Indonesia jeopardized our production and our workers and this extension will help our company, our community and our investors. Fair trade requires that the rules be enforced."
Doug Osterberg, CEO of Appleton Coated LLC, stated, "Paper markets are exceptionally competitive and the decision to maintain the remedial orders against unfair trade are vital to ensuring fair market conditions. For us, there was no question that, if the orders were lifted, serious injury to the domestic industry would follow and we're pleased that the ITC agreed. This decision will help ensure that we can continue to invest in our technology, plant, equipment and people and that our customers can have confidence in the quality and availability of the products they need in their businesses."
Jon Geenen, USW international vice president, stated, "Unfair trade has put at risk thousands of jobs in this sector. Today's decision will continue the hard-fought battle for relief that has helped save many of these jobs and ensure that our industry can survive. The existing duties authorized to remain in place for the next five years will ensure that the hard work of USW members producing these products won't be jeopardized by unfairly traded products from China and Indonesia."
Leo Gerard, USW international president said, "The ITC's decision maintains the fair market conditions that the existing duties against Chinese and Indonesian predatory trade practices have provided. Thousands of good, family-supportive jobs were at risk if the ITC didn't extend the vital relief currently in place. We will continue to fight for the future of our members producing these products, other paper products and the workers across industry who deserve to have the rules against unfair trade aggressively applied."
About Verso Corp.
Verso Corp. is the turn-to company for those looking to successfully navigate the complexities of paper sourcing and performance. The leading North American producer of printing and specialty papers and pulp, Verso provides insightful solutions that help drive improved customer efficiency, productivity, brand awareness and business results. Verso's long-standing reputation for quality and reliability is directly tied to our vision to be a company with passion that is respected and trusted by all. Verso's passion is rooted in ethical business practices that demand safe workplaces for our employees and sustainable wood sourcing for our products. This passion, combined with our flexible manufacturing capabilities and an unmatched commitment to product performance, delivery and service, make Verso a preferred choice among commercial printers, paper merchants and brokers, converters, publishers and other end users.
About Sappi North America
Sappi North America, headquartered in Boston and a subsidiary of global pulp and paper group Sappi Limited, is a market leader in converting wood fiber into superior products that customers demand worldwide. The success of our four diversified businesses – high quality Coated Printing Papers, Specialized Cellulose, Release Papers and Specialty Packaging – is driven by strong customer relationships, best-in-class people and advantaged assets, products and services. Our high quality Coated Printing Papers, including McCoy, Opus, Somerset and Flo, are the key platform for premium magazines, catalogs, books and high-end print advertising. We are a leading manufacturer of Specialized Cellulose used in a wide range of products, including textile fibers and household goods, and one of the world's leading suppliers of Release Papers for the automotive, fashion and engineered films industries. Our Specialty Packaging products, such as LusterPrint and LusterCote, represent an important asset in the food packaging and labeling industries. Customers rely on Sappi for high technical, operational and market expertise; products and services delivered with consistently high quality and reliability; and, state-of-the-art and cost-competitive assets and innovative spirit.
Sappi North America is a subsidiary of Sappi Limited (JSE), a global company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with more than 13,000 employees and manufacturing operations on three continents in seven countries and customers in over 100 countries around the world.
About Appleton Coated
Appleton Coated is a manufacturer and distributor of coated, uncoated, specialty and technical papers sold under the Utopia®, Ethos® and other brand names. The company's products are used in high-end commercial printing, textbook publishing, label papers, transactional printing and a variety of specialty and custom applications. Selling through a chain of highly respected paper distributors, the company serves corporations, publishers, printers, converters, and graphic designers in North America. Appleton Coated's corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility are located in Combined Locks, Wisconsin. The company has over 600 employees, including 435 represented by USW Local 2-144. For more information visit our website at www.appletoncoated.com.
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.
Source: United Steelworkers.