Steelworkers Union Applaud Ruling on Foreign Fax Paper Dumping

WASHINGTON— The federal government made a ruling on the fax paper case, which was introduced by the United Steelworkers.  Fax paper, which is imported from five countries, is being illegally dumped on the U.S. market, costing U.S. workers’ jobs.

That ruling from the Commerce Department on Jan. 8 comes as another section of that federal agency issued a preliminary ruling the same day saying Brazil is subsidizing its firms’ flat-rolled steel, too.

The two decisions are important because they show the continuing efforts by foreign firms, aided and backed by their national governments, to penetrate the U.S. market by shipping subsidized goods here, below cost. That costs U.S. firms their revenue and U.S. workers their jobs.

“Foreign dumping and subsidies have decimated the industry and cost too many breadwinners their jobs. Time and time again competitors have targeted our industry, but the USW continues to fight for every last job,” union President Leo Gerard said after the fax paper ruling. In the fax paper case, the subsidies from Australia, Brazil, China, Indonesia and Portugal ranged up to 222.46 percent, in the Australian case, the Commerce Department said.

The Steelworkers, joined by paper companies in Illinois, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and New York, brought the fax paper case. USW brought the flat-rolled steel case, too, and drew support from several lawmakers, of both parties, for its analysis of those imports.

The latest Commerce Department figures for 2014 show Chinese fax paper imports almost tripled, to 62,400 tons, compared to 2012. They doubled, to 230,000 tons, from Indonesia, rose by 60 percent from Australia and Brazil and rose 16,000 tons from Portugal.

“Since 2000, more than 126 paper mills have closed and approximately 223,000 good-paying industry jobs have gone away, including 3,800 jobs in Minnesota alone,” Rep. Richard Nolan, DFL-Minn. testified. “In Minnesota we have seen, in just the last few years, paper mill closings in Brainerd and Sartell, as well as hundreds of layoffs in Cloquet, International Falls and Duluth.”

“Trade policy must do a far better job on enforcement, tackling barriers to U.S. exports, combating dumping of products into our market and dismantling massive foreign government subsidies,” Nolan concluded.

Source: PAI