The United Steelworkers (USW) union issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Commerce released information on its decision identifying preliminary countervailing duty margins on uncoated paper imports from China and Indonesia. On January 21, 2015, the USW, along with several producers, filed countervailing duty petitions on uncoated paper imports from China and Indonesia and antidumping petitions on imports from China, Indonesia, Australia, Brazil, and Portugal.
The four producers are Domtar Corporation, Finch Paper LLC, P.H. Glatfelter Company, and Packaging Corporation of America.
Uncoated paper has a variety of uses, with the most common being copy paper. It is also used in books, business forms, instruction manuals, inserts, flyers, brochures and maps. It may come in white paper, with a GE brightness level of 85 or higher, or as colored paper.
"Today's decision validates our claims that China and Indonesia have been subsidizing sales of uncoated paper that are imported into the U.S market," said USW International Vice President Jon Geenen. "This isn't the first time they've targeted the U.S. market. Product-by-product they engage in predatory practices to benefit their producers and workers at our expense. We bring a case and win, and they shift production in an effort to dominate the sector."
"Commerce's decision supports our claims," said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. "That's an important step in the effort to restore fair market conditions. But, let's understand: Washington is spending its time debating how to grease the skids for more trade agreements. Their efforts do nothing to stop the kind of subsidies and dumping we're dealing with here and with so many other products. The government has the ability to act by addressing world overcapacity in this sector and others, ranging from steel to glass, and it also has the ability to self-initiate cases, rather than forcing the workers and producers to fight these predatory policies. They're focused on the wrong priorities."
"Restoring fair trade is our goal," said Geenen. "More than 2,500 workers have already lost their jobs from the unfair trade practices identified in these petitions. Today, Commerce agreed that China is subsidizing their producers by 5.82 to 126.42 percent and Indonesia is doing the same, at levels ranging from 43.19 to 131.12 percent. Shortly, Commerce will also announce whether they have preliminarily found dumping in these products. We believe the facts are clear and that, ultimately, injury will be found and relief provided.
"Our members work hard and play by the rules and deserve that the rules be effectively and aggressively enforced."
The U.S. International Trade Commission issued its preliminary determination that the U.S. industry is being materially injured on March 9, 2015. In August, the U.S. Department of Commerce will issue its preliminary determination regarding dumping.
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/.
Jon Geenen (412) 562-2440
Wayne Ranick (412) 562-2444