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Letter to The Honorable Rebecca M. Blank, Acting Secretary of U.S. Department of Commerce - Workers at Appleton Papers


Location: Washington, DC

Following a U.S. Department of Commerce ruling, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10) commended the Obama Administration's decision to defend manufacturing workers and jobs at Appleton Papers, Inc. in West Carrollton. Last month, Portman and Brown 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. Yesterday's ruling upholds the decision to impose a duty on the foreign manufacturer that has manipulated data to avoid paying antidumping duties--hurting domestic manufacturing at companies like Appleton, Inc.

"I am pleased that the Commerce Department has decided to stand up for Ohio workers and push back on foreign competitors attempting to skirt trade rules and manipulate prices," said Portman. "American manufacturers, like those at Appleton, can compete and win on a level playing field, and I welcome the Commerce Department's ruling to protect Ohio's workers."

"This is good news for Ohio workers and Ohio manufacturers," said Brown. "Too many jobs have been lost and factories shuttered because we allow foreign companies to evade trade law. Today's decision shows that the Commerce department is committed to keeping jobs in Ohio and supporting American businesses."

"Ohioans help make the products that fuel our nation's economy and trade. When other nations don't play by the rules it hurts our manufacturing base and the Ohioans who make it possible. This action by the Commerce Department will help ensure Ohioans can continue to compete fully and fairly around the world," said Turner.

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). Yesterday's ruling upholds the preliminary determination that a 75.36 percent duty will be imposed on all LWTP imports from Koehler.

Portman and Brown successfully led a similar effort in 2011, which caused the Commerce Department to reverse their previous ruling and provide needed protection to Appleton. Turner has been leading the effort on the House side in support of Appleton and their ability to compete fairly.

A full copy of the March letter can be found below.

March 15, 2013
The Honorable Rebecca M. Blank
Acting Secretary
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.

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