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Public Statements

Letter to Chairman Okun and Commissioners

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Unknown

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that he is urging the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to keep in place import duties on unfairly-traded, foreign-manufactured lined paper school supplies that threaten to undercut domestic producers of lined paper, including Mead Products, which is a big employer in Sidney. Currently, the U.S. imposes duties on lined paper from India, Indonesia and China. These duties help level the playing field for U.S. manufacturers and are intended to counter the economic harm caused by exporters' predatory pricing and foreign government subsidies. However, by law, these duties will expire, effective September 2011, unless reauthorized by the ITC. If these duties are lifted, it would seriously weaken U.S. efforts to fight unfair trade practices, and put companies like Mead Products at a significant disadvantage at home and abroad. In a letter sent to ITC Chairman Okun, Senator Schumer urged the ITC to keep existing duties on foreign imports in place, so as to not undercut American manufacturers. A final decision by the ITC is expected before the end of the summer.

"Once again, foreign manufacturers and foreign governments are engaged in unfair trade practices that undermine manufacturers like Mead Products in the Southern Tier and others across the country," said Schumer. "The good news is that we have protections in place to level the playing field, and it's vital we keep them that way. For years, the Sidney paper products facility has provided families in Delaware County with good paying jobs and benefits, and we can't afford to put that all at risk because foreign producers and foreign governments will stop at nothing to gain U.S. market share. I'm urging the International Trade Commission to maintain the tariffs on unfair imports to protect Mead Products and its workforce in Sidney from further economic harm."

The Sidney facility is currently owned by Mead Products, a subsidiary of ACCO Brands. In operation for over 60 years, the facility has been and remains a cornerstone in the Southern Tier economy and provides over 750 families with good paying jobs.

Duties on imports of lined paper school supplies from India, Indonesia and China have been in place since 2006 to product U.S. paper products producers. These duties help level the playing field for U.S. manufacturers and are intended to counter the economic harm caused by predatory pricing and foreign government subsidies. The duties currently in place range from 1 to 258 percent. The duties have gone a long way toward protecting the remaining U.S. paper products manufacturers, including Mead Products, from further harm, and in keeping manufacturing jobs in this industry in the United States and in the state of New York. Any increase in unfairly traded imports of lined paper school supplies would deal a devastating blow to the domestic producers of lined paper and to affiliate producers, like the Sidney facility, in the paper products industry in general.

In August 2011, the Commerce Department and the International Trade Commission initiated a so-called "sunset review" of the antidumping and countervailing duty orders on lined paper school supplies from the India, Indonesia and China. In the first stage of this review, completed in December 2011, the Commerce Department determined that the termination of the duties would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping and subsidization. Next, the ITC will consider whether terminating these duties would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of economic harm to the U.S. industry. The ITC is holding a hearing on this issue recently, and Senator Schumer is urging the ITC to keep the antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of lined paper in place, so that Mead Products can compete on a level playing field. A final decision by the ITC is expected before the end of the summer. If the ITC concludes that termination of the duties would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of injury to the U.S. industry, the antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of lined paper school supplies will remain in place.

Dumping occurs when a foreign producer sells a product in the United States at a price that is below that producer's sales price in its home market, or at a price that is lower than the cost of production. The difference between the price (or cost) in the foreign market and the price in the U.S. market is called the dumping margin. The dumping margin is used to determine the amount of antidumping duties to be collected on imports of a product found to be dumped and causing economic harm to the domestic industry. Countervailing duties are collected on imports of a product found to be subsidized by a foreign government and causing economic harm to the domestic industry. The duties are intended to offset ("countervail") the benefit conferred on foreign producers and exporters by the government subsidies.

Schumer wrote a letter to the members of the ITC urging them to keep these protections in place. The full text of his letter can be seen below:

The Honorable Deanna Tanner Okun

Chairman, U.S. International Trade Commission

The Honorable Daniel R. Pearson

The Honorable Shara L. Aranoff

The Honorable Irving A. Williamson

The Honorable Dean A. Pinkert

The Honorable David S. Johanson

Commissioners, U.S. International Trade Commission

500 E Street, SW

Washington, DC 20436

Dear Chairman Okun and Commissioners,

I write to express support for the continuation of the antidumping and countervailing duty orders on lined paper school supplies from India, Indonesia and China. The duties imposed on dumped and subsidized imports have gone a long way towards protecting the domestic producers of lined paper -- including Mead Products, which has an affiliated paper products operation in Sidney, New York -- from further economic harm, and in keeping manufacturing jobs in this industry in the United States and in my state of New York. The duties remain necessary to protect Mead Products and other U.S. manufacturers and their employees from continuation or recurrence of economic injury, and I respectfully urge you to maintain the orders.

The Sidney, New York, facility is currently owned by Mead Products, a subsidiary of ACCO Brands. In operation for over 60 years, the facility has been and remains a cornerstone in the Southern New York economy and provides over 750 families with good paying jobs. Any increase in unfairly traded imports of lined paper school supplies would deal a devastating blow to the domestic producers of lined paper and to affiliate producers, like the Sidney facility, in the paper products industry in general.

Mead Products and other domestic paper product manufacturers, face crippling competition from dumped and subsidized imports of lined paper school supplies from India, Indonesia and China. Termination of the order against any one of these countries would quickly devastate U.S. companies and their workers, as well as the communities in which they operate. I respectfully urge you to maintain the antidumping and countervailing duty orders on lined paper from India, Indonesia and China. The orders are vital to protecting Mead Products, other U.S. manufacturers, and their employees, from continuation or recurrence of economic injury.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this critical issue.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator


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