U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) called on the Obama Administration to protect manufacturing workers and jobs at Appleton Papers, Inc. in West Carrollton. Brown and Portman led a bipartisan group of eight senators and representatives in calling on the U.S. Department of Commerce to impose duties on a foreign paper producer. A preliminary investigation shows that the company manipulated data to avoid paying antidumping duties, hurting domestic manufacturing at companies like Appleton, Inc.
"We cannot allow foreign companies to get away with predatory pricing that undermines our economic growth and shutters our factories," said Brown. "Dumping allows foreign paper companies to undersell U.S. companies, including Appleton Papers. As a result, manufacturing workers have lost jobs and communities have been forced to deal with plant closures. I commend the Commerce Department on the work they've done so far to curb unfair trading practices and urge them to continue protecting American jobs by imposing duties on Koehler paper sold in the United States."
"American workers, like those in West Carrollton, can compete and win on a level playing field. However, when foreign competitors don't play by the rules, we must stand up to ensure fair competition and enforcement of the laws on the books," said Portman. "In 2011, I worked with my colleagues to protect Appleton's workers from unfair imports and was successful in getting the Administration to reverse their position. Ohio manufacturers like Appleton need our continued support and I urge the Commerce Department to strongly support their case."
According to the Commerce Department, German exporter Papierfabrik August Koehler AG and Koehler America, Inc--known as Koehler--sold its merchandise at a less than normal value and had deliberately manipulated data to avoid paying antidumping duties for imports on lightweight thermal paper (LWTP).
A full copy of the letter can be found below:
March 15, 2013
The Honorable Rebecca M. Blank
U.S. Department of Commerce
Washington, DC 20230
Dear Acting Secretary Blank:
We are writing in regard to the pending final determination by the Department of Commerce in its current administration review of dumping margins for imports of lightweight thermal paper ("LWTP") from Germany.
As the Department clearly stated in its preliminary review of this matter, the German exporter Papierfabrik August Koehler AG and Koehler America, Inc. (referred to collectively as "Koehler") deliberately manipulated data submitted to the Department regarding sales of LWTP, and we commend the Department for holding this company accountable for its actions. We take note that the Department found that Koehler's actions are consistent with the company's pattern of price manipulation to evade antidumping duties. We consider it appropriate that the Department has decided to use adverse facts available to calculate duties in the third administrative review, which we understand were preliminarily set at 75.36%.
We applaud the strong stance that the Department has taken to preserve jobs and manufacturing investments here in the United States by aggressively working to curb unfair trading practices by overseas competitors that could, if unchecked, continue to harm our U.S. paper industry, and its jobs, and investments in our home states.
Thank you for your consideration of our views. We look forward to hearing more about the Department's actions.
Senator Sherrod Brown
Senator Rob Portman
Senator Bob Casey, Jr.
Senator Tammy Baldwin
Representative Bill Shuster
Representative Ron Kind
Representative Reid Ribble
Representative Michael Turner