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U.S. Commerce Deptartment Sets Duty Margins n Coated Paper from China and Indonesia

Washington, DC, USA, 21 September 2010 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Today's U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announcement of final antidumping and countervailing duty margins sets out the tariffs that will be applied to unfairly traded imports of coated paper from China and Indonesia that benefited from subsidies or were dumped in the U.S. market.

Appleton Coated LLC, NewPage Corporation, and Sappi Fine Paper North America – together with the United Steelworkers (USW) welcomed the DOC announcement of final antidumping and countervailing duty margins on coated paper imports from China and Indonesia.

The DOC action updates the preliminary margins that were announced earlier in the consideration of the case that was filed jointly by the USW and the three companies.

The companies and the USW filed unfair trade cases on 23 September 2009 with the DOC and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) 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.

The antidumping margins announced by DOC on imports from Indonesia were 20.13% and ranged from 7.6%-135.83% on imports from China. Countervailing duties on products from Indonesia will be subject to tariffs of 17.94% and on Chinese imports range from 17.64%-178.03%. If the ITC votes affirmatively in their upcoming injury determination, these rates will apply for the term of the relief. The ITC will vote on 19 October and the transmittal of its views to DOC will occur on 04 November.

"Today's announcement validates the allegations the industry made almost a year ago as to how Chinese and Indonesian coated paper exporters were engaged in unfair trade practices. Correction of the dumping and subsidization by the imposition of duties to offset the margins announced today will help provide some more certainty that a competitive market will exist in these products," said Sandra Van Ert, president and chief executive officer of Appleton Coated LLC.

Leo Gerard, USW president, said, "Last week the International Trade Commission heard from the companies and their customers, the union and elected officials from around the country of the injury that has been inflicted by Chinese and Indonesian coated paper producers who are, to put it simply, cheating. They've engaged in unfair trade practices to advance their interests at the cost of production and jobs here in the U.S. Commerce's decision today further validates their unfair pricing and sets the stage for final action to restore a competitive market."

"Working together, the companies and the Steelworkers have fought for a fair and level playing field," stated George Martin, president and chief executive officer of NewPage Corporation. "Today's action is welcome news for the industry and its employees as they look to a future where they can compete fairly based on the quality of the products they produce, the investments that have been made in new technology, and sustainable forestry practices."

Mark Gardner, president and chief executive officer of Sappi Fine Paper North America said, "Commerce's recognition of the impact of dumped and subsidized products sends a message that our government is interested in restoring a competitive market in coated paper.  We have presented before the International Trade Commission a clear and compelling case that these dumped and subsidized products have in fact injured our businesses, depriving our employees of enriching jobs. We are hopeful the Commission will recognize that injury in its final determination next month."

"Our members work hard and play by the rules," said Jon Geenen, USW vice president. "All they want is a fair chance to compete. This decision shows clearly what they've been up against in terms of unfair trade practices of the producers they have to compete against."  

"It's time, once and for all, for us to have the rules of fair trade enforced and the government to stand up for their interests. The domestic industry has experienced capacity reductions and underutilization resulting in the loss of jobs in communities all across the country. The petitions show that unfairly traded imports from China and Indonesia are a significant contributor to that underutilization of capacity, mill closures, and resultant job loss," said Geenen.

The three companies employ about 6000 production workers represented by the USW at 20 paper mills operating in seven states.

About Appleton Coated

Appleton Coated, headquartered in Kimberly, Wisconsin, provides focused market leadership in premium coated and specialty paper products. The Appleton Coated product portfolio includes a range of commercial printing and book publishing papers, as well as specialty and private label products. Known for their performance, aesthetics, and environmental attributes, Appleton Coated manufactures their products in a state-of-the-art facility in Combined Locks, Wisconsin, hosting the newest papermaking machine of its type in North America. For more information, visit www.appletoncoated.com.

About NewPage Corporation

Headquartered in Miamisburg, Ohio, NewPage Corporation is the largest coated paper manufacturer in North America, based on production capacity, with USD 3.1 billion in net sales for the year ended 31 December 2009. The company's product portfolio is the broadest in North America and includes coated freesheet, coated groundwood, supercalendered, newsprint, and specialty papers. These papers are used for corporate collateral, commercial printing, magazines, catalogs, books, coupons, inserts, newspapers, packaging applications, and direct mail advertising.

NewPage owns paper mills in Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, USA, and Nova Scotia, Canada. These mills have a total annual production capacity of approximately 4.4 million tons of paper, including approximately 3.2 million tons of coated paper, approximately 1.0 million tons of uncoated paper and approximately 200,000 tons of specialty paper.  For more information, visit www.NewPageCorp.com.

About Sappi Fine Paper North America

Sappi Fine Paper North America (SFPNA) is a leading North American producer of coated fine paper used in premium magazines, catalogues, books, and high-end print advertising. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Sappi Fine Paper North America is known for innovation and quality. SFPNA is a division of Sappi Limited (NYSE, JSE), a global company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with manufacturing operations on four continents in 10 countries, sales offices in 50 countries, and customers in more than 100 countries around the world. Learn more about Sappi Fine Paper North America at www.sappi.com/na/.

About the United Steelworkers

The United Steelworkers (USW) is a North American union headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that negotiates labor agreements and represents 850,000 active workers employed in metals, mining, pulp, paper, timber, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply, energy producing industries, plus the service and professional sectors to include healthcare, municipalities, and pharmaceuticals. For more information, visit www.usw.org.


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