The United Steelworkers and four U.S. paper manufacturers announced that they have filed antidumping petitions against unfairly priced imports of certain types of uncoated paper in sheets from China, Indonesia, Brazil, Portugal and Australia, and countervailing duty petitions against subsidized imports from China and Indonesia with the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). The four manufacturers are Domtar Corporation, Packaging Corporation of America (PCA), Finch Paper LLC, and P.H. Glatfelter Company.
The petitions ask the agencies responsible for investigating illegal trade practices to impose duties to offset the dumping of certain uncoated paper from all five countries and to offset the subsidies on imports from China and Indonesia. The petitions cover all uncoated paper in sheets (including cut-size and folio), weighing between 40 and 150 gsm, and having a GE brightness level of 85 or higher. The antidumping and countervailing duty petitions indicate that imports of these products from the five targeted countries increased 44 percent from 2011 to 2013 and another 40 percent from January-September 2013 to January-September 2014. The imports increased despite declining U.S. demand. During that time, shipments of certain uncoated paper from domestic manufacturers declined by approximately 8 percent from 2011 to 2013, and another 9 percent from January-September 2013 to January-September 2014.
“Since 2011, eight U.S. mills that produce uncoated paper have been forced to close in the face of increasing unfairly traded imports, resulting in the loss of thousands of paper jobs,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “The Labor Department has certified workers at seven of these mills to receive Trade Adjustment Assistance, after concluding that imports ‘contributed significantly’ to these closures. Foreign predatory practices targeting America’s producers and workers, including tens of thousands of our members, are the root cause of production declines and job losses.”
“Competition makes us a better, stronger company, but it must be fair competition,” said John D. Williams, President and CEO of Domtar. “This petition asks the government to look at the facts and make any adjustments required to establish a level playing field.”
“Foreign paper manufacturers are taking advantage of the unfair trade practices of dumping and subsidies to undermine U.S. manufacturers,” said Mark Kowlzan, Chief Executive Officer of Packaging Corporation of America (PCA).
Under the antidumping and countervailing duty statutes, the ITC is expected to make a preliminary injury determination in early March 2015. The Department of Commerce is expected to issue preliminary determinations in the countervailing duty investigations in April 2015 (June if extended) and in the antidumping duty investigations in June 2015 (August if extended). All of the investigations will be completed within 13 to 14 months.