Washington, DC, USA, 06 November 2009 – The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) today determined that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of certain coated paper suitable for high-quality print graphics using sheet-fed presses from China and Indonesia that are allegedly subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.
All six Commissioners voted in the affirmative.
As a result of the Commission's affirmative determinations, the U.S. Department of Commerce will continue to conduct its antidumping and countervailing duty investigations on imports of this product from China and Indonesia, with its preliminary countervailing duty determinations due on or about 17 December 2009, and its preliminary antidumping duty determinations due on or about 02 March 2010.
The Commission's public report Certain Coated Paper Suitable for High-Quality Print Graphics Using Sheet-Fed Presses from China and Indonesia (Investigation Nos. 701-TA-470-471 and 731-TA-1169-1170 (Preliminary), USITC Publication 4108, November 2009) will contain the views of the Commission and information developed during the investigations.
Copies of the report are expected to be available after 08 December 2009, by emailing email@example.com, calling 202-205-2000, or writing to the Office of the Secretary, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests also may be faxed to 202-205-2104.
Appleton Coated LLC, NewPage Corporation, and Sappi Fine Paper North America, together with the United Steelworkers (USW) had filed unfair trade cases on 23 September with the 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 used in high-quality writing, printing, and other graphic applications using sheet-fed presses with a GE brightness rating of 80 or higher up and weighing to 340 grams per square meter.
The ITC’s action follows the Oct. 13 decision by the Commerce Department to open its investigation on the filings.
The petitions filed by the companies and the USW estimate that total imports of covered coated paper skyrocketed by nearly 40% during the first six months of 2009 compared with a similar period of time in 2008. During the same period, shipments of paper covered by the domestic manufacturers’ petitions are estimated to have declined by approximately 38%. China and Indonesia together almost doubled their share of the U.S. market over the same period and now are believed to account for nearly 30% of the U.S. market.
Since the trade cases were filed, 22 members of Congress from eight paper manufacturing states have sent letters to the ITC and, or the Commerce Department, raising their voices in support of the domestic coated paper industry and its workforce.
The petitions allege, among other things, that various subsidies are being provided to Chinese paper producers, including low interest loans, tax subsidies, input subsidies, land use programs, grants and export tax subsidies. Similarly, the petitions allege that Indonesian paper companies are benefiting from timber provided from government-owned land at below-market prices, a ban on log exports, government loans, debt forgiveness, and tax incentives for certain encouraged businesses.
The next steps following today’s affirmative vote by the ITC comes in December when the Commerce Department is expected to issue preliminary determinations in the countervailing duty case, and in March 2010 with respect to the antidumping duty case. These trade cases are expected to take about a year to complete.