Coated Paper Manufacturers, Union Call for Duties on Imports from China and Indonesia

Appleton Coated, NewPage, Sappi Fine Paper North America and the United Steelworkers petition U.S. government to investigate.

Three U.S. coated paper manufacturers, as well as the United Steelworkers of America (USW), announced Wednesday they had filed anti-dumping and countervailing duty petitions addressing imports of certain coated papers from China and Indonesia.

The organizations are asking the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission to impose duties to offset alleged government subsidization and dumping of coated paper used in high-quality writing, printing and other applications using sheet-fed presses.

The petitions estimate that total imports of the specified coated papers have increased by nearly 40% from the first half of 2008 to the same period in 2009. Shipments by domestic manufacturers declined by about 38% in the same time frame, the organizations allege in a press statement.

In the petitions, the paper companies and the USW allege that Chinese paper producers are receiving a variety of subsidies, while Indonesian paper firms are allegedly receiving timber from government-owned property at below-market prices, as well as other benefits.

"This case is not about protectionism -- it's about fair trade," said Rick Willett, NewPage president and CEO, in the statement.

"It is important that we offset the dumping and subsidies which are benefiting the Chinese and Indonesian paper companies at the cost of American manufacturing jobs," added John Cappy, president and CEO of Appleton Coated LLC.

According to the press statement, the ITC is expected to make a preliminary injury determination in November 2009.

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