USW Calls Paper Trade Case Ruling 'Good News for Working Families'

U.S. Trade Commission Puts Tariffs on Thermal Paper Imports from China, Germany

Contact: Jon Geenen, 920-722-1288
             Gary Hubbard, 202-778-4384; 202-256-8125

Washington, D.C. (Oct. 30) -- The United Steelworkers (USW) joined Appleton Papers in applauding today’s U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) final determination to impose both anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on unfairly traded imports of lightweight thermal paper (LWTP) from China and Germany.

USW President Leo W. Gerard called the Commission’s vote, “Good news for working families at paper mills in four states.” He declared, “Our distressed economy and paper workers needed our government’s decision in this case to warn foreign producers that when American industry is willing to fight for strong fair trade law enforcement – they can get it.”

He especially singled out China’s cheating on global trade standards, saying: “The ITC’s enforcement order is a lesson for the communist government. When they illegally subsidize and dump their exports to steal our jobs, they risk five-year tariff orders that force them to abide by the rules of fair trade.”

The ruling is expected to bolster the job security of more than 1,700 paper mill workers at Appleton plants in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Another producer of LWTP, Kanzaki Specialty Papers Co. in Springfield, Mass., employs 115 workers represented by the USW who will also be helped by the tariff order.  

Appleton filed the trade case in September 2007 against China and German imports of LWTP, which is a heat-treated specialty paper used in the retail industry for customer receipts at stores, restaurants, in automated vehicle gas station pumps and ATM machines.

Jon Geenen, USW vice president for paper industry bargaining, who testified at the ITC hearing on Oct. 2, said, “Despite the fact that U.S. paper companies have become the most efficient producers in the world, American paper workers are in the fight for their lives.” He told the Commission, “Our domestic market has become the dumping ground for unfairly traded foreign paper exports.”

Where he lives in Wisconsin, Geenen told the commission that 20 percent of the industry has been lost in seven years, a trend occurring across the country. He cited a total of 118,000 paper industry jobs have been lost from 2001-2007.

Yesterday’s ITC determination will apply duties the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) previously affirmed on Sept. 26 for thermal paper from certain Chinese producers and exporters that were sold at below fair value, resulting in final antidumping duties ranging from 19.77 to 115.29 percent. The DOC also affirmed that German producers and exporters of thermal paper sold the product in the U.S. at prices below fair value and imposed final anti-dumping duties of 6.5 percent.

The DOC had also announced its final determination concerning subsidized imports of LWTP from China. The Commerce Department imposed countervailing duties for all but one exporting company ranging from 13.17 percent to 137.25 percent. Between the countervailing and antidumping duties, Chinese paper imports face total tariffs of 19.77 to 252.54 percent.

Foreign governments subsidize industries when they provide financial or other assistance to benefit the production, manufacture or exportation of goods. Subsidies can take many forms, such as direct cash payments, preferential tax breaks, loans and subsidized inputs.

In 2007, imports of thermal paper from China were valued at an estimated $53.3 million.

The USW represents Appleton paper processing mills employing 900 workers at the Appleton mill in Wis., 330 workers in West Carrolton, Oh, and 550 workers at Roaring Spring, Pa. The Ohio plant’s USW Local 1-266 President Jim Allen testified at the ITC’s October hearing. He was joined by USW Local 10-0422 Pres. Mitchell Becker at Roaring Spring and USW Local 2-469 Pres. Rick Bahr of Appleton. About 50 union production employees from the three plants sat in the hearing room.

Strong support at the ITC hearing was given in testimony presented by Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle; Ohio Governor Ted Strickland; Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, Congressmen Steve Kagen and Tom Petri; Ohio U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and Congressmen Michael R. Turner; and Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Robert P. Casey, Jr.

For more information on the LWTP trade case: www.usw.org/

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Written testimony presented to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on the lightweight thermal paper trade case filed by Appleton Papers Inc. can be viewed by clicking the following linked names:

·        Jon Geenen, USW International Vice President

·        Jimmy Allen, President, USW Local 1-266

·        The Honorable Ted Strickland, Governor, Ohio

·        The Honorable Jim Doyle, Governor, Wisconsin

·        The Honorable Edward G. Rendell, Governor, Pennsylvania

·        The Honorable Herb Kohl, U.S. Senator, Wisconsin

·        The Honorable Robert P. Casey, Jr., U.S. Senator, Pennsylvania

·        The Honorable Arlen Specter, U.S. Senator, Pennsylvania

·        The Honorable George V. Voinovich, U.S. Senator, Ohio

·        The Honorable Sherrod Brown, U.S. Senator, Ohio

·        The Honorable Ron J. Kind, U.S. Congressman, 3rd District, Wisconsin

·        The Honorable Thomas E. Petri, U.S. Congressman, 6th District, Wisconsin

·        The Honorable Michael R. Turner, U.S. Congressman, 3rd District, Wisconsin

·        The Honorable Steven L. Kagen, M.D., U.S. Congressman, 8th District, Wisconsin

·        The Honorable Tim Ryan, U.S. Congressman, 17th District, Ohio

 

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