The Bush administration is imposing further trade sanctions against China,
South Korea and Indonesia in a dispute involving glossy paper.
The US Commerce Department said in a statement that it has preliminarily
determined that imports from the three countries of glossy paper -- used in
art books, textbooks and high-end magazines -- were being sold in the United
States at less than fair value.
preliminary penalty for the paper products from China ranged from 23.19
percent to 99.65 percent. The penalty imposed on imports of glossy paper
from Indonesia was 10.85 percent while the penalty on South Korean imports
ranged as high as 30.86 percent.
The penalties will be collected immediately although they will not become
final until this fall after further investigations are conducted.
"This administration continues to aggressively and transparently enforce our
trade laws to ensure a level playing field for American manufacturers, workers
and farmers," said Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez.
The decision came a week after US and Chinese officials met for a second
round of high-level talks aimed at lowering trade tensions between the two
The paper case was brought by NewPage Corp., a Dayton, Ohio-based paper
company which contended that its coated paper was facing unfair competition
because of the government subsidies and sale of imports at unfairly low prices.
The government trade sanctions have received the support of the United Steel
Workers union, which represents about 90 percent of the workforce in the US
coated paper industry. The glossy paper is produced at 22 paper mills in 13
These penalties will be imposed on top of economic sanctions levied in
March after the US administration alleged that paper
companies from those three countries were receiving improper government
subsidies that allowed them to undercut the price of American producers.
The March decision reversed 23 years of US trade policy by treating
China, which is classified as a nonmarket economy, in the same way other US
trading partners are treated in disputes involving government subsidies.
Chinese officials denounced the decision in the government subsidies
case saying that it went against the consensus of both countries to resolve
disputes through dialogue rather than imposing trade sanctions.
The second round of the Strategic Economic Dialogue, which was launched by
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in December, was held in Washington last week.
Paulson and Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi announced a series of agreements
including the boosting of airline flights between the two nations. But they
failed to make progress in one of the biggest rade irritants, the value of
China's currency. The Bush administration urged China to quicken the pace
of yuan revaluation, while Beijing emphasized that yuan should be kept
"basically stable at a reasonable, balanced level."