ITC finds Australian Paper causing ‘material injury’ in US

The International Trade Commission has ruled that dumped, unfairly priced imports of certain types of uncoated paper sheets from China, Indonesia, Brazil, Portugal and Australia are causing material injury, after the USW (United Steel Workers) and four US paper manufacturers launched petitions condemning the practice. Australian Paper is responsible for Australia’s involvement in the case as the sole exporter of uncoated paper. It declined to comment on the case. During the period of the ITC’s investigation, eight U.S paper mills were forced to close as a result of dumping practices, where products are sold to a country for cheaper than it costs the home country to produce them. The petition, launched by Packaging Corporation of America, Domtar Corporation, Finch Paper LLC, and P.H Glatfelter Company, asked the ITC to impose anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders against the five countries named, which the ITC will implement following its decision.

US ITC building in Washington

US ITC building in Washington

The petitions covered all uncoated paper in sheets 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. However, a source close to the Australian paper industry has told Australian Printer the restrictions the ITC plans to impose are only political and will have no real impact on the industry. The source claims Australia is only a bit-player in the case which aimed to target other countries, and it only became involved because its price points were similar to Chinese paper products. As expected, the ITC’s decision has been applauded in the US where anti-dumping measures have been supported by dozens of Congressional and state officials from both sides of politics. Commenting on the decision, chief executive of Packaging Corporation of America Mark Kowlzan says the ITC’s decision will restore fair market conditions in the paper industry. He says, “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.”

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