Appleton Hails Commerce Department Crackdown on Unfair Trade Practices

Dec. 7, 2012 (Press Release) - Appleton Papers issued a response today following a preliminary determination by the U.S. Department of Commerce that Papierfabrik August Koehler AG and Koehler America, Inc. (collectively Koehler) deliberately coordinated with multiple parties to structure its sales, pricing and shipping procedures in a manner that would enable it to manipulate its sales prices of lightweight thermal paper (LWTP) reported to the Commerce Department. The Commerce Department also found Koehler's actions consistent with the company's pattern of price manipulation to evade antidumping duties.

The Commerce Department also noted this is Koehler's third time as a mandatory respondent to department requests for information and that the company is fully aware of its statutory duties in that regard.

As a result, the Commerce Department proposes to impose a duty of 75.36% on LWTP sold by Koehler into the U.S.

"We are pleased the Commerce Department confirmed our assertions that Koehler has been engaged in a scheme to defraud the Department by intentionally concealing certain otherwise reportable home market transactions," said Mark Richards, Appleton's chief executive office. "Koehler's contention that their actions were equivalent to a routine error normally accepted by the Commerce Department is completely without merit."

Richards added, "we welcome the opportunity to compete with anyone in the world, provided all competitors compete fairly. We will continue our fight for a level playing field and remain mindful of the desperation of those who choose not to compete under such conditions." In 2008, the Commerce Department affirmed that Koehler sold LWTP into the U.S. at prices below fair value and imposed antidumping duties that are subject to an annual administrative review by the Commerce Department. The department currently applies a 4.33% duty on LWTP sold by Koehler into the U.S.