Steelworkers Support Imported Paper Probe

WASHINGTON —The Steelworkers are supporting a 5-0 federal commission vote to probe five other nations’ subsidies of uncoated paper to the U.S.


If the International Trade Commission (ITC) and the Commerce Department agree the subsidized paper, used in copiers, maps and brochures, costs U.S. paper workers their jobs, the government could impose tariffs on it.


The paper probe covers paper from China, Australia, Brazil, Indonesia and Portugal.  Products in past cases range from oil pipe to steel rebar and more.  The Steelworkers lead all U.S. unions and most U.S. corporations in probing and bringing such trade cases.


The ITC vote means “there is a reasonable indication that imports are injuring or threatening injury to the domestic industry and paper workers’ jobs,” the agency said.  The union represents some 130,000 paper and forest products workers, but the industry has shed 60,000 jobs since 2002.


“Multiple plant shutdowns across the uncoated paper manufacturing sector cost almost 2,500 workers their jobs since these foreign competitors began flooding our market with unfairly traded products,” said union Vice President Jon Geenen.


“These are good, family-supportive jobs that are lost to dumped and subsidized imports. It’s time to restore fair trade conditions to the market to preserve and restore the jobs that have been lost to predatory trade practices,” Geenen said.


Four papermaking firms joined in the Steelworkers’ complaint against the subsidized imports.


The Steelworkers’ petitions to the ITC reported paper imports from the five nations rose by 44 percent from 2011 to 2013 and 40 percent from January-September 2013 to January-September 2014. In those last nine months, the imports took 21 percent of U.S. paper consumption – despite declining demand.


Source: PAI

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