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U.S. places duty on imports of uncoated paper


August 25, 2015
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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Imports of some uncoated freesheet and groundwood paper grades from China, Indonesia, Brazil, Australia and Portugal to the U.S. will now face a duty of up to 193 per cent. The U.S. Department of Commerce imposed preliminary anti-dumping duties on Aug. 20, following its investigation and an investigation by the U.S. International Trade Commission, which concluded that the U.S. industry had been materially injured by sales of these paper products for less than their fair value.

The paper products covered by these investigations include uncoated paper in sheet form weighing at least 40 grams per square meter (gsm) but not more than 150 gsm. The paper can be either white paper with a GE brightness level of 85 or higher, or colored paper, and may or may not be surface-decorated, printed (except as noted), embossed, perforated, or punched. Specifically excluded from the scope are (1) paper printed with final content of printed text or graphics and (2) lined paper products, typically school supplies.

The preliminary anti-dumping duty rate varies by company and producer. For Australia the rate is 40.65 percent; for Brazil, 33.09 percent to 42.42 percent; for China, 97.48 percent to 193.30 percent; for Indonesia, 0 percent to 51.75 percent; and for Portugal, 29.53 percent.

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“The dumping margins will help offset unfair and predatory trade practices facing the industry,” said United Steelworkers (USW) International president Leo W. Gerard. “Time after time, our competitors have targeted this sector and dumped and subsidized sales into our market.  Since 2011, eight mills that manufacture this product have shut down as a result of dumped and subsidized imports. Some 2,500 jobs were lost. This has devastated working families and their communities.”

The USW was one of the petitioners in the anti-dumping case, along with Domtar Corp., Finch Paper, Packaging Corporation of America and P.H. Glatfelter Co.

A final decision in the case is expected early in 2016.

In 2014, imports of uncoated paper from Australia, Brazil, China, Indonesia, and Portugal were valued at an estimated $61 million, $211 million, $54 million, $200 million, and $164 million, respectively.