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Letter to Shara L. Aranoff, Chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission, Re: Reopen Anti-Dumping Case on Behalf of Kimberly Paper Mill

Letter

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Date:
Location: Milwaukee, WI


Letter to Shara L. Aranoff, Chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission, Re: Reopen Anti-Dumping Case on Behalf of Kimberly Paper Mill

KOHL CALLS ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION TO REOPEN ANTI-DUMPING CASE ON BEHALF OF KIMBERLY PAPER MILL
Senator offers NewPage CEO assistance in reducing plant's energy costs, retooling facility to keep it profitable

U.S. Senator Herb Kohl today spoke with the CEO of NewPage Corporation, Mark Suwyn, to offer assistance to help keep their Kimberly paper plant open. On July 30th, the NewPage Corporation announced the closing of the Kimberly mill, citing competition from cheaper imports and high energy costs, which will result in job loss for nearly 500 skilled workers. Mr. Suwyn told Kohl that product dumping by China and Europe has been the greatest harm to the paper industry and is forcing NewPage to shutter their Kimberly facility.

Immediately following his conversation with Mr. Suwyn, Kohl called on the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to reopen a 2007 NewPage trade case so that market conditions will allow paper mills to compete, reopen and generate jobs. The ITC ruled against NewPage in the case they brought against coated freesheet producers in China, Indonesia and South Korea, despite the Department of Commerce findings that many Asian producers of this paper were illegally dumping it on the U.S. market at less than fair market value and their governments were illegally subsidizing their paper producers.

"Every day, U.S. paper companies are losing market share, American workers are being harmed and companies are losing profits and sales. It is time we start leveling the playing field with our foreign competitors," Kohl wrote in his letter to the Chairman of the ITC. "Only when market conditions improve will NewPage and other producers be able to reopen mills and rehire skilled workers."

The Kimberly plant has most recently produced coated wood-free printing paper, a product line which has seen a surge of imports into the United States. According to the Pulp and Paper Products Council, these imports grew from 650,000 tons in 2000 to 1.2 million tons in 2007.

Kohl also offered Mr. Suwyn his assistance in working with the Departments of Energy and Commerce to find federal energy efficiency and energy cost-cutting programs to help the plant remain profitable.

"I made it clear to the CEO of NewPage that my office stands ready to help the company in any way we can to remain in Kimberly and be profitable," Kohl said. "The community is reeling from the shock of NewPage's decision to close the paper mill, and we will do all we can, in the most practical terms, to be helpful."

Members of the Wisconsin Congressional delegation will request a meeting with John Snow, the Chairman of the investment company Cerebrus which owns New Page, to discuss the decision to close the Kimberly mill and explore alternatives.

Kohl has also been in contact with the Department of Labor on behalf of the employees of the Kimberly facility about Trade Adjustment Assistance resources.

A copy of the letter is included below.

# # #

September 4, 2008

The Honorable Shara L. Aranoff
Chairman
U.S. International Trade Commission
500 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20436

Dear Chairman Aranoff:

I am writing to ask you to re-examine a trade case brought to the International Trade Commission (ITC) by NewPage Corporation in 2007. The ITC ruled against the trade case NewPage brought against coated freesheet producers in China, Indonesia and South Korea, despite the Department of Commerce findings that many Asian producers of this paper were illegally dumping it on the U.S. market at less than fair market value and their governments were illegally subsidizing their paper producers.

As you may be aware, in the last year NewPage has announced it is closing two paper plants in Wisconsin, resulting in 900 good paying jobs being cut. In discussing the paper mill in Kimberly, the CEO of NewPage told me that cheap import dumping is responsible for the deteriorating market conditions that are forcing them to shutter the Kimberly facility. Most recently, the Kimberly Mill has produced coated wood free printing paper, a product line which has seen a surge of imports into the United States. According to the Pulp and Paper Products Council, these cheap imports grew from 650,000 tons in 2000 to 1,200,000 tons in 2007, which is undercutting U.S. paper producers

Every day, U.S. paper companies are losing market share, American workers are being harmed and companies are losing profits and sales. It is time we start leveling the playing field with our foreign competitors. Otherwise, we will not have a domestic paper industry to speak of. I respectfully request that you review the facts in this case and the implications they are having on the U.S. paper industry. Only when market conditions improve will NewPage and other producers be able to reopen mills and rehire skilled workers. Thank you for your attention to our concerns and I look forward to your response,

Sincerely,

Herb Kohl
United States Senator


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