Brown, Portman, Turner Urge International Trade Commission to Stand Up for West Carrollton's Appvion Paper Against Fraudulent Foreign Competitors

In January, Brown, Portman, and Turner Sent a Letter to Commerce Department Urging Legal Action to Address Fraudulent Actions Aimed At Undercutting U.S. Trade Law

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) and Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10) called on the International Trade Commission to protect Ohio workers and domestic paper manufacturers like West Carrollton’s Appvion Papers, Inc. The letter calls for continuation of current dumping margins on lightweight thermal paper (LWTP) from China and Germany.

“We must stand up for workers and manufacturers in our domestic paper industry,” Brown said. “That means enforcing trade laws when foreign companies dump products into American markets and undercut domestic manufacturing. It’s vital that the ITC take action to ensure foreign companies don’t get a leg up by cheating the system.”

“Ohio paper manufacturing workers, like those at West Carrollton’s Appvion Papers, can compete and win on a level playing-field, but we must enforce our trade laws to ensure that foreign competitors do not skirt the rules of the road,” Portman, a former U.S. Trade Representative said.

"Enforcing our trade laws is absolutely essential to ensuring that American workers can compete on a level playing field in the global marketplace,” Turner said. “I was proud to join with Senator Portman and Senator Brown in a bipartisan request to extend the antidumping and countervailing duty orders on certain lightweight thermal paper from China and Germany. I am hopeful that the U.S. International Trade Commission will provide this extension and ensure that unfair trade practices do not hinder the ability of our companies to successfully create American jobs.”

In January, Brown, Portman and Turner called on the Commerce Department to use to use its legal authority under U.S. trade law to address fraudulent behavior by foreign companies dumping into domestic markets. According to Commerce, German exporter Papierfabrik August Koehler AG and Koehler America, Inc—known as Koehler—sold merchandise at a less than normal value and manipulated data to avoid paying antidumping duties for imports on LWTP.  In April 2013, Brown, Portman and Turner commended action by the Obama Administration that upheld a decision to impose a duty on the manufacturer.

Brown and Portman successfully led a similar effort in 2011, which caused the Commerce Department to reverse its 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 letter can be found below. 

The Honorable Meredith Broadbent

Chairman

U.S. International Trade Commission

500 E Street, SW

Washington, D.C. 20436

 Dear Chairman Broadbent:

We write to express support for the continuation of orders on lightweight thermal paper from China and Germany.  These orders are critical to ensuring the domestic industry can compete on a level playing field, and a negative sunset review determination would lead to the dumping of imports in the U.S. market.

The dumping orders on lightweight thermal paper from China and Germany have stopped the flood of imports from those two countries.  Before the orders took effect, lightweight thermal paper imports grew rapidly from January 2005 to June 2008.  The original investigation found that China undersold their product by more than 20 percent.  After the dumping duties were imposed, Chinese exports of lightweight thermal paper dropped to negligible quantities.  In the 2010-2011 annual review, the Department of Commerce imposed a 75.36 percent dumping margin on the German producer, Koehler, after finding that the German company misrepresented sales.  This has forced Koehler to announce they are no longer shipping to the U.S. market.  These orders have succeeded in ending unfair trade and should be continued. 

If the dumping orders were revoked, the domestic industry would face renewed material injury.  China maintains excessive production capacity that is greater than the total Chinese consumption of lightweight thermal paper.  German producers have also increased their thermal paper production capacity.  In addition, Germany continues to fight the dumping orders aggressively, which reveals their ongoing interest in exporting to the U.S.  The American market remains attractive for foreign producers of lightweight thermal paper, and both China and Germany would resume underselling in the U.S. if the orders were lifted.  The Department of Commerce confirmed that the domestic industry would be injured by a revocation of the orders in its preliminary determination earlier this year. 

There is one other factor that we want to raise because it could affect your evaluation of data and information provided by Germany during the proceedings.  The Department of Commerce found that Koehler had engaged in a transshipment scheme to avoid dumping margins and accordingly used adverse facts available to impose a high margin on their products, a finding that was upheld by the U.S. Court of International Trade in New York.  We ask that you keep in mind their deceptive behavior and their desire to avoid the dumping duties as you evaluate this case. 

The dumping orders on lightweight thermal paper imports from Germany and China have been successful, and without them the domestic industry would suffer from unfair trade practices.  We urge you to maintain the orders so that American companies can compete on a level playing field.

 

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Press Contact

Meghan Dubyak/Ben Famous (Brown): 202-224-3978

Michael Haidet (Portman): 202-224-5190

Annie Clark (Turner): 202-450-7398