Vote ends unfair subsidies from China and Indonesia that threaten Wisconsin's paper companies and thousands of jobs
Today, U.S. Senators Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl applauded the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) on their final decision in favor of Wisconsin's pulp and paper facilities. The ITC found that China and Indonesia have been using unfair trade practices. According to the ITC, the US Department of Commerce will issue antidumping and countervailing duty orders on coated paper from China and Indonesia.
The decision today came as a result of a September 2009 filing to the U.S. Department of Commerce and the ITC by Appleton Coated LLC, NewPage Corporation -- both of which have a presence in Wisconsin -- Sappi Fine Paper North America, and the United Steelworkers. On September 16, 2010, Senators Kohl and Feingold testified on behalf of Wisconsin paper before the Commission, noting that Wisconsin paper is threatened by overseas paper companies flooding the U.S. markets with artificially low priced products. Kohl, chairman of the Senate Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights subcommittee, urged the USITC to enforce laws already on the books to prevent paper dumping and other unfair practices.
"I applaud the ITC for recognizing that China and Indonesia's unfair trade practices in the paper industry have stacked the deck against thousands of hardworking Wisconsinites and businesses," Feingold said. "While the ITC's decision today will help to ensure Wisconsin's paper industry can compete on a more level playing field, it does not address other unfair trade practices by China. I was pleased to testify on behalf of Wisconsin workers at the ITC and I will continue to fight against unfair trade policies that have hurt Wisconsin workers."
"I'm grateful to the Commission for serving its role to keep our global trading partners honest. This decisive action by the USITC will protect our state's paper industry and the many jobs it supports. American companies can compete with anyone in the world because of the hard-working men and women of our nation, but they can only do so on a level playing field. Today's vote is a major win for Wisconsin," Kohl said.
Wisconsin has 241 pulp and paper facilities which employ approximately 35,000 people. Together, NewPage Corporation and Appleton Coated employ nearly three thousand workers. Two years ago, due to unfair trade practices in China, New Page closed down mills in Kimberly and Niagara, and had to lay off about 1,000 people. Last year, Appleton Coated laid off nearly 80 people at its Combined Locks mill.