U.S. paper manufacturers and the United Steelworkers have accused China and Indonesia of dumping tons of coated paper into the United States. The complaint against the two governments is the latest in an escalating trade conflict between the United States and China, which began when President Obama approved tariffs for Chinese tires. It comes on the eve of the G-20 economic summit in Pittsburgh. From the WSJ:
The companies need to prove to the Commerce Department that the governments of China and Indonesia provided subsidies to coated-paper producers, and that imports were sold in the U.S. at prices below the home-market price or the cost of production. The petitioners also need to show the U.S. International Trade Commission that the paper imports caused material injury to the U.S. market or threaten to. "We have very strong evidence on all the factors which are necessary to prove this case," Mr. Kaplan said.
A spokesman for Indonesia's Trade Ministry declined to comment because the government has not yet viewed the antidumping petitions.
A spokesman at the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said: "The rising trade protectionism is worrying. The U.S. should be aware that trade protectionism is a double-edged sword and will do no good to either side."
The complaint over paper dumping differs in two major ways from the tariffs placed on Chinese tires. That case was brought solely by the tire workers, not manufacturers, and it involved special legislation that was part of China joining the WTO. The tire workers made their case by citing a specific provision which allows the U.S. to put tariffs on China if the country starts selling too much to the United States and hurting domestic producers. The paper case is a more traditional trade dispute.