U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) urged the International Trade Commission (ITC) to continue existing antidumping and countervailing duty orders that help defend jobs at Mead Products in Kettering. With current duties at risk of expiring, the senators sent a letter to the Chair of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) asking the commission to maintain existing relief against unfairly traded imports of lined paper school supplies from China, India, and Indonesia. These orders--which went into effect in 2006 and are reviewed every five years-- are critical for Mead Products, which employs 250 workers in Kettering, to maintain jobs and keep prices fair for domestically produced lined paper.
"Ohio's companies, like Mead Products, can compete with anyone in the world when there is a level playing field," Brown said. "But the domestic paper industry is being undermined and undercut by illegal trade practices from other countries. Unfairly subsidized imports harm our ability to innovate and compete. That's why these duties are so important--to support Ohio manufacturing and keep jobs in the U.S."
"Mead Products is a prime example of how Ohio products can thrive when fair competition is sustained and countries play by the same rules," Senator Portman said. "Ohio manufacturing is a bright spot in our economy, and we cannot risk losing jobs due to unfairly subsidized imports."
The letter to ITC Chair Irving A. Williamson noted that the antidumping and countervailing duty orders currently in place have allowed the domestic industry to charge fair prices that are consistent with its raw material costs, expand operations, and keep mills open to prevent layoffs.
In the Commerce Department's original investigations of lined paper school supplies from China, India, and Indonesia, it imposed dumping margins of up to 258 percent on Chinese producers, dumping margins of up to 23 percent and subsidy rates of up to 10 percent on Indian producers, and dumping margins of up to 118 percent and subsidy rates of up to 40 percent on Indonesian producers of lined paper school supplies.
Full text of the letter is below.
June 25, 2012
The Honorable Irving A. Williamson
U.S. International Trade Commission
500 E Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20436
Dear Chairman Williamson:
We are writing to strongly encourage you to maintain the existing antidumping and countervailing duty orders against unfairly traded imports of lined paper school supplies from China, India, and Indonesia. The maintenance of these trade orders is essential to prevent further injury to an already vulnerable domestic lined paper industry.
Mead Products employs 250 employees in Kettering, Ohio and these are vital products for their company. These trade orders have benefitted the domestic lined paper industry. As a result of the orders, dumped and subsidized imports from China, India, and Indonesia are no longer flooding the U.S. market. These orders have allowed the domestic industry to charge fair prices that are consistent with its raw material costs, strengthen its production operations, expand its capacity, and make important capital improvements. These orders have also enabled the domestic industry to prevent layoffs and keep mills open.
Although the trade orders have benefitted the domestic lined paper industry, it is by no means shielded from the harmful effects of unfair import competition. Without the discipline of the orders in place, increased dumped and subsidized imports would quickly erode all of the gains that the domestic industry has made since the orders were imposed. China, India, and Indonesia all have a demonstrated ability and interest to ship significant quantities of unfairly priced lined paper imports to the United States. At the same time, lined paper purchases are driven by large retailers that import directly, have significant purchasing power, and are able to command the lowest prices. As a result, if the Commission does not maintain the orders on lined paper school supplies from China, India, and Indonesia, subject imports would undoubtedly enter the United States in increased quantities and at low prices, thereby placing domestic operations at risk.
On behalf of the domestic lined paper industry, its employees, and the communities that we represent, we strongly urge you to continue the existing orders against unfairly traded imports of lined paper school supplies. The health and success of the U.S. lined paper industry depends on the full and fair enforcement of the trade laws of the United States.
Thank you in advance for your time and consideration of this critical issue.
United States Senator
United States Senator