Appleton Workers to Testify Against Unfair Imports

Oct. 1, 2008 (Press Release) - Appleton said that a group of nearly 50 company employees from the company's Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania operations are traveling to Washington, D.C., to attend a key hearing at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on October 2. The ITC will hear testimony in advance of making its final ruling regarding whether Appleton has been harmed by unfair imports of lightweight thermal paper (LWTP) from China and Germany.

The ITC is scheduled to make its decision on October 30.

Mark Richards, Appleton's chief executive officer, is among a group of Appleton executives, managers, and plant personnel who will deliver testimony to the ITC commissioners at the hearing. Also testifying on Appleton's behalf will be Jim Allen, an employee at Appleton's paper mill in West Carrollton, Ohio, and president of the mill's local 266 of the United Steelworkers union. Allen will be joined by Jon Geenen, international vice president for the United Steelworkers, who will also provide testimony.

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle and Ohio Governor Ted Strickland are scheduled to deliver testimony on behalf of Appleton along with Wisconsin Congressmen Steve Kagen and Tom Petri. Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl is also expected to testify, as is Ohio Congressman Michael Turner. Wisconsin Congressmen Ron Kind and Paul Ryan, both members of the House Ways and Means Committee, will submit a joint statement on behalf of Appleton. Ohio Senators George Voinovich and Sherrod Brown, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, and Pennsylvania Senators Robert Casey and Arlen Specter will also submit statements supporting Appleton.

The Appleton contingent of employees traveling to Washington, most of whom are members of the United Steelworkers, will join the national leaders of the USW to urge the ITC to help level the playing field on which Appleton competes against foreign producers of thermal paper.

Richards said the support from employees, the USW, and state and federal officials has been encouraging and testimony to be delivered at Thursday's hearing will ask the ITC to stop the flow of unfairly priced lightweight thermal paper. “We have asked for nothing more than a level playing field on which to compete,” said Richards. “We appreciate the consideration and review given to our case so far by the Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission and we look forward to presenting our strong case before the ITC commissioners.”

Department of Commerce ruling set import duties
On September 26, the U.S. Commerce Department determined that LWTP imports from Germany and China are, in fact, being dumped at prices averaging from 6.5 to nearly 115.3 percent below the fair market value. The Commerce Department also found that Chinese LWTP producers are being heavily subsidized by their government at rates averaging 13.17 percent. Should the ITC determine that the dumped and subsidized imports are causing or threatening injury to the U.S. LWTP industry, those corrective duties will be implemented.

In September 2007, Appleton filed petitions with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission alleging that the Chinese government is subsidizing the Chinese lightweight thermal paper industry. Foreign governments subsidize industries when they provide financial or other assistance to benefit the production, manufacture or exportation of goods.

Appleton also alleged in its petitions that lightweight thermal paper products, typically used for point-of-sale retail receipts and coupons, imported from China and Germany are being wrongfully dumped in the United States. Dumping occurs when a foreign producer sells goods in the United States at prices below fair value. Appleton asked the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission to impose offsetting duties on lightweight thermal paper products imported from those countries.

SOURCE: Appleton

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