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Your Printing Paper Could Get A Lot More Expensive

For your information, on January 21, 2015, a petition was filed asking the U.S. government to investigate whether uncoated paper produced in Australia, Brazil, China, Indonesia, and Portugal is being unfairly dumped, and whether uncoated paper from China and Indonesia is being unfairly subsidized. The U.S. antidumping (AD) law imposes special tariffs to counteract imports that are sold in the United States at less than “normal value.” The U.S. countervailing duty (CVD) law imposes a different set of special tariffs to counteract imports that benefit from unfair foreign government subsidies. For both antidumping and countervailing duties to be imposed, the U.S. government must determine not only that dumping and/or subsidization is occurring, but also that there is “material injury” (or threat thereof) by reason of the dumped and/or subsidized imports. Importers are liable for any potential AD/CVD duties imposed. In addition, these investigations could impact purchasers by either increasing prices, and/or decreasing supply, of printing paper.

The petition was brought by Domtar Corporation, Finch Paper LLC, P.H. Glatfelter Company, Packaging Corporation of America, and the union representing workers at some or all of those companies. The petition identifies the following companies as known foreign producers and exporters of the uncoated paper in question:

Australia:

  • Australian Papers (Nippon Paper Group)

Brazil:

  • International Paper

  • Suzano Papel e Celulose S.A.

China:

  • Asia Pacific Resources International Ltd.

  • Asia Pulp and Paper and its subsidiaries

  • MCC Paper Group

  • Shandong Chenming Paper Holdings Ltd.

  • Shandong Huatai Paper Industry Shareholding Co., Ltd.

  • Shandong Sun Paper Industry Joint Stock Co., Ltd. and its subsidiaries

  • Shandong Taishan Paper Group

  • Shandong Tralin Paper Group

Indonesia:

  • Riau Andalan Kertas (ROK) (owned by Asia Pacific Resources International Ltd.)

  • PT. Pabrik Kertas Tjiwi Kimia, Tbk. (owned by Asia Pulp and Paper)

  • PT. Pindo Deli Pulp and Paper Mills (owned by Asia Pulp and Paper)

  • Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper Tbk. (owned by Asia Pulp and Paper)

  • PT. Jaya Kertas

  • PT. Parasindo Pratama

Portugal:

  • Portugal/Soporcel

The petitioners propose the following product scope for the investigations:

The merchandise covered by this investigation includes certain paper in sheet form that has not been coated on either side; weighing at least 40 grams per square meter but not more than 150 grams per square meter; that either is a white paper with a GE brightness level of 85 or higher or is a colored paper; whether or not surface-decorated, printed (except as described below), embossed, perforated, or punched; irrespective of the smoothness of the surface; and irrespective of dimensions (“Certain Uncoated Paper”).

Certain Uncoated Paper includes (a) uncoated free sheet paper that meets this scope definition; (b) uncoated groundwood paper produced from bleached chemi-thermo mechanical pulp (“BCTMP”) that meets this scope definition; and (c) any other uncoated paper that meets this scope definition regardless of the type of pulp used to produce the paper.

Specifically excluded from the scope are imports of paper printed with final content of printed text or graphics.

Imports of the subject merchandise are provided for under HTSUS categories 4802.56.1000, 4802.56.2000, 4802.56.3000, 4802.56.4000, 4802.56.6000, 4802.56.7020, 4802.56.7040, 4802.57.1000, 4802.57.2000, 4802.57.3000, and 4802.57.4000. Some imports of subject merchandise may also be classified under 4802.62.1000, 4802.62.2000, 4802.62.3000, 4802.62.5000, 4802.62.6020, 4802.62.6040, 4802.69.1000, 4802.69.2000, and 4802.69.3000. While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the investigations is dispositive.

These investigations are administered by two U.S. government agencies, the Department of Commerce (DOC) and the International Trade Commission (ITC). The ITC must make a preliminary determination on the injury/threat issue by March 9, 2015. The DOC must make a preliminary CVD determination by April 16, 2015, and a preliminary AD determination by June 30, 2015, although both DOC deadlines could be postponed. Importers could be liable for potential AD and CVD duties beginning on the date when the preliminary DOC determinations are published in the Federal Register, or, in certain situations, 90 days prior to that date. The entire investigation process takes approximately one year to complete. If the DOC imposes AD and CVD duty orders, final duties are determined approximately two years later. If AD/CVD duties are imposed, it could result in increased prices and/or reduced supply of printing paper.

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About this Author

Douglass Heffner, International trade lawyer, Drinker Biddle
Partner

Douglas J. Heffner litigates customs and international trade matters including antidumping duty, countervailing duty and safeguard cases. He represents foreign companies in Canada, Europe, Japan and Mexico, as well as domestic producers in industries that range from high-tech to heavy industry, to consumer and industrial goods. He also represents trade associations, government agencies and embassies in a broad range of matters.

202-230-5802
Richard P Ferrin, International Trade Lawyer, Drinker Biddle
Counsel

Richard P. Ferrin advises clients about international trade regulations, particularly antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings at both the administrative and appellate levels. He advocates for his client in global “safeguards” proceedings and on customs matters involving classification issues and country-of-origin determinations. Richard has represented foreign manufacturers, foreign exporters, and U.S. importers in antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings before the U.S. International Trade Commission, and in judicial review of administrative actions at the U.S. Court of International Trade, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and North American Free Trade Agreement binational panels. In addition, Richard advises importers on how to minimize antidumping duty liability.

202-230-5803