Coated Paper Petitioners Delay the Process

The coated paper trade dispute was the subject of our lead report in the December Reel Time. This post provides a brief update.  As we followed this story last fall, press releases indicated that countervailing duties/tariffs and anti-dumping duties would begin to be collected from Chinese and Indonesian exporters  to the U.S. (of coated paper grades in question) immediately after the ITC found in favor of the petitioners. This favorable ruling took place on November the 6th. However, there has been no confirmation of duties being collected in the trade news and it now appears that this will not occur until the Commerce Department weighs in on this issue. The verdicts of the Commerce Department were scheduled on December the 17th (countervailing duty) and early March (anti-dumping duty).

Maybe I was the last to know, but we have learned that, on November the 19th,  the petitioners (NewPage, Sappi, Appleton Coated, and the USW) requested that  “the preliminary determination of the countervailing duty investigation” be postponed. The request was granted by the Commerce Department and the new deadline for the completion of the this investigation is now February the 22nd. We believe that the date for completion of the anti-dumping part of the investigation remains early March.

Why would the plaintiffs ask for a delay? Does this request signal weakness in their case, or is this a purposeful strategy unclear to those of us on the outside? If any of you have information regarding  this trade dispute that you are able to share with us, please leave a comment.

We do have something we can offer all of you. It’s the full 161 page ITC report –  Coated Paper Trade Dispute 2009 – on which the November 6th decision was based. I have just skimmed it so far, but there are some interesting items.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by KIM on January 20, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Could you publish the link to the article that states that NewPage ,Appleton and the USW asked for the delay?Searching I could not find that document. Thanks KIM


    • Hi Kim,
      I received Department of Commerce communications in the email that follows. If you know your way around the Commerce Department (I do not, by the way) or know somene that does, you should be able to find these in the official records. Hope this helps.

      74 FR 64669, December 8, 2009


      International Trade Administration


      Certain Coated Paper Suitable for High-Quality Print Graphics
      Using Sheet-Fed Presses from the People’s Republic of China:
      Postponement of Preliminary Determination in the Countervailing Duty

      AGENCY: Import Administration, International Trade Administration,
      Department of Commerce.

      DATES: Effective Date: December 8, 2009.

      FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Neubacher, Jennifer Meek or Mary
      Kolberg, AD/CVD Operations, Import Administration, International Trade
      Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and
      Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-
      5823, (202) 482-2778 and (202) 482-1785 respectively.



      On October 13, 2009, the Department of Commerce (the
      “Department”) initiated a countervailing duty investigation of
      certain coated paper suitable for high-quality print graphics using
      sheet-fed presses (“certain coated paper”) from the People’s Republic
      of China (“PRC”). See Certain Coated Paper Suitable for High-Quality
      Print Graphics Using Sheet-Fed Presses from the People’s Republic of
      China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation, 74 FR 53703
      (October 20, 2009). Currently, the preliminary determination is due no
      later than December 17, 2009.

      Postponement of Due Date for Preliminary Determination

      On November 19, 2009, the Department received a request from
      Appleton Coated LLC, NewPage Corporation, S.D. Warren Company d/b/a
      Sappi Fine Paper North America, and the United Steel, Paper and
      Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service
      Workers International Union (collectively, “Petitioners”) to postpone
      the preliminary determination of the countervailing duty investigation
      of certain coated paper from the PRC. Under section 703(c)(1)(A) of the
      Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), the Department may extend
      the period for reaching a preliminary determination in a countervailing
      duty investigation until no later than the 130th day after the date on
      which the administering authority initiates an investigation if the
      petitioner makes a timely request. In accordance with 19 CFR
      351.205(e), Petitioners’ request for postponement of the preliminary
      determination was made 25 days or more before the scheduled date of the
      preliminary determination. Thus, we are fully extending the due date
      for the preliminary determination to no later than 130 days after the
      day on which the investigation was initiated (i.e., February 20, 2010).
      However, February 20, 2010, falls on a Saturday and it is the
      Department’s long-standing practice to issue a determination the next
      business day when the statutory deadline falls on a weekend, federal
      holiday, or any other day when the Department is closed. See Notice of
      Clarification: Application of “Next Business Day” Rule for
      Administrative Determination Deadlines Pursuant to the Tariff Act of
      1930, As Amended, 70 FR 24533 (May 10, 2005). Accordingly, the deadline
      for completion of the preliminary determination is now no later than
      February 22, 2010.

      [[Page 64670]]

      This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 703(c)(2)
      of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(e).

      Dated: November 25, 2009.
      Ronald K. Lorentzen,
      Deputy Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.
      [FR Doc. E9-29243 Filed 12-7-09; 8:45 am]

      BILLING CODE 3510-DS-S


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