Today's unanimous affirmative vote by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on the petitions brought at both the ITC and the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) on Jan. 21, 2015, by the United Steelworkers (USW) and four U.S. paper manufacturers brings much needed relief to the industry. The four manufacturers are Packaging Corporation of America (PCA), Domtar Corporation, Finch Paper LLC, and P.H. Glatfelter Company.
The ITC has found that dumped, unfairly priced imports of certain types of uncoated paper in sheets from China, Indonesia, Brazil, Portugal and Australia are causing material injury. They also found that during that same time, illegally subsidized imports from China and Indonesia were also causing material injury.
During the period of these investigations, eight U.S. mills that produce uncoated paper were forced to close. They had been faced with a dramatic increase in unfairly traded imports which resulted in the loss of thousands of paper jobs. Unfairly priced imports from the five countries named in the petitions were decimating U.S. producers and workers. The effort to stop the dumping and subsidies was supported by dozens of Congressional and state officials from both parties.
Dumping occurs when a product is sold in the United States at a price below what it costs to produce or what it is sold for in the home country. Countervailing duties are imposed on imports that are subsidized by foreign governments.
Last month, Commerce determined dumping margins ranging up to 222.46 percent against the five countries and subsidy rates of up to 176.75 percent against China and Indonesia.
The petitions had asked the ITC and Commerce, the agencies responsible for investigating illegal trade practices, to impose duties to offset the dumping from all five countries and to offset the subsidies on imports from China and Indonesia. The duties identified by Commerce will be applied as of the date the antidumping and countervailing duty orders are published in the Federal Register.
The petitions covered 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, typically used in copy machines and sheet-fed printers.
"Predatory trade practices by China and other countries have targeted the U.S. paper sector," said USW International Vice President Jon Geenen. "The results have been devastating for our members and their families and communities. America's paper sector is competitive when the rules are fair and when they're enforced. Today's decision will help stabilize and, hopefully, regain production."
Mark Kowlzan, Chief Executive Officer of Packaging Corporation of America, stated: "Today's decision will help restore fair market conditions for this product. From day one we knew that the law was on our side, that the facts were clear and that our petitions were necessary to restore fair competition. We only wanted for international trade rules to be enforced. We make great products and deserve the right to compete. That's exactly what this case will do."
"This decision shows that our continuing investments in our plants and our people have put us on the right course," said John D. Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer of Domtar. With the fair market conditions in uncoated paper that result from this case, we will be able to continue to compete and provide our customers with high quality products. We're pleased that the law worked as it was designed and we can focus our attention on the future."
"Trade cases are all too often a necessary tool to ensure fair competition," said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. "Our members should not have to face unfair and predatory trade practices. Their government should be initiating action but if they do not, we must."
Gerard continued, "In partnership with the four petitioning companies and supported by dozens of elected officials from across the country, we made clear that we would not cede our market to unfair competition. The paper sector supports thousands of good, family-supportive jobs all across the country and we owe it to the workers to ensure that when they work hard and play by the rules, they'll have a good shot at a decent life."
About the United Steelworkers (USW)
The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. For more information: http://www.usw.org
About Packaging Corporation of America (PCA)
PCA is the fourth largest producer of containerboard and corrugated packaging products in the United States and the third largest producer of uncoated freesheet paper in North America. PCA operates eight paper mills and 100 corrugated products plants and related facilities. For more, visit www.packagingcorp.com
About Domtar Corporation
Domtar Corporation (NYSE: UFS) (TSX: UFS) designs, manufactures, markets and distributes a wide variety of fiber-based products including communication papers, specialty and packaging papers and absorbent hygiene products. The Company employs approximately 10,000 people. To learn more, visit www.domtar.com
About Finch Paper LLC
Finch Paper LLC is a leading, privately-owned and vertically integrated paper manufacturer specializing in high-bright, uncoated papers for North American printing and converting markets. Using advanced manufacturing systems, Finch produces a broad portfolio of opaque, text and cover and digital papers for multi-press environments, including recognized brands such as Finch Fine®, Finch Opaque, Finch ThruPut Wove and Finch Inkjet Pi.
Finch Paper was the first integrated paper manufacturer in the United States to receive both the Forest Management and Chain-of-Custody certifications from the Forest Stewardship Council® and Sustainable Forestry Initiative®. Finch is one of only a few paper companies that continues to manage forests. Finch papers are made using two-thirds renewable energy produced by on-site hydroelectric and cogeneration facilities and has been a responsible, sustainable New York State manufacturer for more than a century. To learn more, visit www.finchpaper.com
About P.H. Glatfelter Company
Glatfelter is a global supplier of specialty papers and fiber-based engineered materials, offering innovation, technical expertise, and world-class service. Headquartered in York, Pennsylvania, U.S. operations include facilities in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, and Chillicothe and Fremont, Ohio. International operations include facilities in Canada, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the Philippines, and sales and distribution offices in Russia and China. Glatfelter's sales approximate $1.8 billion annually and its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol GLT. Additional information may be found at www.glatfelter.com
CONTACT: Wayne Ranick (412) 562-2444