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U.S International Trade Commission Rules Against LIghtweight Thermal Paper Imports from China and Germany

Washington, DC, USA, 30 October 2008 -- The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) today determined that the U.S. industry producing lightweight thermal paper (LWTP) is threatened with material injury by reason of imports of that product from China that the U.S. Department of Commerce has determined are subsidized, and imports of that product from China and Germany that the U.S. Department of Commerce has determined are sold in the United States at less than fair value.

The product covered by these investigations is thermal paper with a basis weight of 70 g/m2 (with a tolerance of ± 4.0 g/m2) or less; irrespective of dimensions; with or without a base coat on one or both sides; with thermal active coating(s) on one or both sides that is a mixture of the dye and the developer that react and form an image when heat is applied; with or without a top coat; and without an adhesive backing. Certain lightweight thermal paper is typically (but not exclusively) used in point-of-sale applications such as ATM receipts, credit card receipts, gas pump receipts, and retail store receipts.

As a result of the Commission's affirmative threat determinations, the Department of Commerce will issue countervailing duty and antidumping duty orders on imports of this product from China and an antidumping duty order on imports of this product from Germany.

“We are pleased with the ITC’s decision because it acknowledges the negative impact of unfair trade conditions we have experienced, and it restores a level playing field on which we can compete in this market,” said Mark Richards,
Appleton’s chief executive officer. “We appreciate the consideration given to our petition by the ITC and the Department of Commerce and the strong support and testimony provided by our employees, customers, the United Steelworkers, and our state and federal elected representatives during the ITC’s proceedings.”

In September 2007,
Appleton filed petitions with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission alleging that the Chinese government is subsidizing the Chinese LWTP industry. Foreign governments subsidize industries when they provide financial or other assistance to benefit the production, manufacture or exportation of goods.

Appleton also alleged in its petitions that LWTP products, typically used for point-of-sale retail receipts and coupons, imported from China and Germany are being wrongfully dumped in the United States. Dumping occurs when a foreign producer sells goods in the United States at prices below fair value. Appleton asked the Commerce Department and the ITC to impose offsetting duties on LWTP products imported from those countries.

On September
26, the Commerce Department affirmed that certain Chinese producers and exporters of LWTP sold the product in the United States at prices below fair value and imposed final antidumping duties of 19.77% to 115.29%. The Department also affirmed that German producers and exporters of LWTP sold the product in the U.S. at prices below fair value and imposed final antidumping duties of 6.5%.

The Commerce Department also announced its final determination concerning subsidized imports of LWTP from China. For all but one company, the Department imposed countervailing duties of between 13.17% and 137.25%. Countervailing duties offset the subsidies that Chinese producers receive from the Chinese government. Between the countervailing and antidumping duties, Chinese paper imports face total tariffs of 19.77% to 252.54%.


Importers of LWTP affected by the ITC decision must now post cash deposits in the amount of the duties established by the Department of Commerce. Those deposits go to the Department of Treasury. Appleton receives no part of the tariffs, nor does the company recover any damages associated with its petition.


The Commission's public report Certain Lightweight Thermal Paper from China and Germany (Investigation Nos. 701-TA-451 and 731-TA- 1126-1127 (Final), USITC Publication 4043, November 2008) will contain the views of the Commission and information developed during the investigations.

Copies may be obtained after 01 December 2008, by emailing pubrequest@usitc.gov, calling 202-205-2000, or by writing the Office of the Secretary, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may also be made by fax to 202-205-2104.

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