02.17.15

SCHUMER: FINCH PAPER, ONE OF THE BIGGEST EMPLOYERS IN GLENS FALLS, IS UNDER THREAT BECAUSE PRODUCERS FROM CHINA & OTHER COUNTRIES ARE UNFAIRLY DUMPING HUGE AMOUNTS OF PAPER INTO U.S. – SENATOR JOINS WITH FINCH WORKERS TO CALL ON FEDS TO LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD, PROTECT FINCH FROM PREDATORY FOREIGN TACTICS

Finch Has Lost Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Sales Over Last 18 Months Due to Unfairly Priced Imports – Evidence Indicates That Artificially Cheap Paper Imports From China, Indonesia, Australia, Brazil, and Portugal Are Flooding the U.S. Market, Making It Difficult For NY Paper Companies Like Finch To Compete; Feds Currently Considering Whether To Take Action


As Fed Deadline Approaches, Schumer Urges Strong & Swift Action To Protect Finch and Its 600 Glens Falls Workers Against Potential Unfair Tactics From China – Eight Major Paper Mills Across The U.S. Have Closed In Recent Years In The Face of Increasing Unfairly Traded Imports

 

Schumer: Finch is Major Employer In Glens Falls & We Must Do All We Can To Protect It

  

Today, at Finch Paper in Glens Falls, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer joined Finch Paper workers to urge the International Trade Commission (ITC) to protect Finch against predatory trade practices. Finch has indicated that foreign companies are dumping artificially cheap paper products into the U.S. market, which has resulted in the loss of millions of dollars’ worth of sales for Finch and made it difficult for them to compete. Schumer explained that the ITC, an independent federal agency tasked with investigating cases involving imports claimed to injure a domestic industry, has launched an investigation into whether U.S. paper companies have been materially injured as a result of uncoated paper imports from China, Indonesia, Australia, Brazil, Indonesia and Portugal, and the ITC is considering taking action. Schumer noted that Finch Paper is one of the largest employers in Glens Falls, employing over 600 people, and a major piece of the local economy, with an economic impact of more than $370 million per year, and he said we must do everything possible to protect it. 

 

“We cannot sit idly by and let foreign competitors who are not playing by the same rules undermine one of Glens Falls’ biggest employers. Finch Paper is a major driver of the local economy, so any indication that sales might be declining as a result of unfair practices is both a cause for concern and a call to action,” said Schumer. “Finch provides high-quality products and hundreds of good-paying jobs, but anticompetitive practices from foreign producers are becoming a real threat. The International Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce need to thoroughly investigate these practices and crack down on trade cheats to put U.S. producers like Finch on a level playing field. When up against fair competition, I know Finch will win.”

 

“We are asking our government to level the playing field for our business and our employees,” said Finch Paper President & CEO, Debabrata Mukherjee. “Every single day we are confronted in the U.S. paper market by bargain-basement pricing from foreign manufacturers who operate with subsidies from their governments.”

 

Because it is increasingly difficult for companies like Finch to compete with foreign competitors who seek to expand their U.S. market share by implementing anticompetitive pricing practices, or who benefit from foreign government subsidization, Schumer is calling on the ITC to enforce current antidumping duty laws and conduct a thorough preliminary investigation aimed at protecting U.S. industry. Schumer explained that, in January, the ITC informed Finch Paper and other U.S. paper making companies that it would be commencing an antidumping and countervailing investigation to determine whether the U.S. paper industry has been threatened by uncoated paper imports from companies in China, Indonesia, Australia, Brazil, Indonesia and Portugal. On the heels of this news, Schumer urged the ITC to thoroughly analyze the impact of these foreign products on U.S. producers like Finch and do all it can to protect uncoated paper manufacturers and their workers from predatory trade practices.

 

According to Finch, the company has seen the loss of millions of dollars in sales over the past 18 months that it directly attributes to unfairly priced imports. Schumer said that while paper imports from foreign companies in countries like China increased 44 percent from 2011 to 2013 and another 40 percent from 2013 to 2014, the U.S. market has been shrinking 3 to 4 percent annually over the past few years. During this time, shipments of uncoated paper from U.S. manufacturers declined by approximately 8 percent from 2011 to 2013, and another 9 percent from 2013 to 2014. Schumer said many paper industry leaders like Finch have indicated that this marked increase in imports and loss of U.S. market share is likely due to anticompetitive foreign business and government tactics that undermine U.S. manufacturers like Finch and their workers must be stopped.

 

Schumer joined with local Finch Paper workers and Warren County officials as he announced his push to crack down on this foreign predatory practice. Schumer is urging the ITC to carefully consider the information that the U.S. industries have presented in their investigation. The antidumping and countervailing duty investigations will determine whether foreign producers are being unfairly subsidized by foreign governments and whether they are using predatory pricing practices to sell their products at less than fair value. Such anticompetitive practices are often used to edge U.S. companies out of the market. These investigations could lead to the U.S. imposing duties to combat anticompetitive pricing and level the playing field for U.S. producers. Schumer explained that if the ITC makes an affirmative determination, the case will move to the Department of Commerce, which will determine if duties should be issued to protect the US industry. The U.S. has issued nearly 140 antidumping and countervailing duty orders in force against producers in China, five times the number of duty orders against any other country.  

 

Finch currently employs over 600 workers, and is one of the largest employers in Glens Falls and a major staple of its local economy. In addition to its local employees, Finch is indirectly responsible for 2,200 jobs across the Capital and North Country regions, and has a total estimated economic impact of more than $370 million per year. Finch partners with seven union locals to manufacture uncoated printing papers for corporate marketing materials, direct mail, book publishing, transactional documents, and business offices. Finch Paper was founded in downtown Glens Falls 150 years ago and is a cornerstone of Upstate New York manufacturing. Schumer said anticompetitive foreign business tactics, like dumping, should not be allowed to undermine U.S. manufacturers like Finch and their local workers.

 

Dumping is when a foreign company exports their goods into the United States below fair market value. The ITC begins antidumping and countervailing duty investigations by determining if there is a reasonable indication that the US industry has been or could be materially injured by unfair trade practices. If the ITC makes an affirmative decision, the U.S. Department of Commerce investigates dumping margins, typically the difference between the U.S. market price of a product and the price in the exporter’s home country, to determine if dumping has occurred. Positive dumping margins become a duty order if both Commerce and the ITC have affirmative final determinations. The duty order is a type of tax on the import found to be undervalued, which brings the price of that import to fair value.

 

Schumer was joined by Finch Paper CEO Debabrata Mukherjee, Glens Falls Mayor John “Jack” Diamond, President of the Warren County Economic Development Corporation Ed Bartholomew, and several Finch Paper employees.

 

In addition, the United Steelworkers union (USW), who are a petitioner in the uncoated paper industries case and represent workers at Finch Paper, have been active in filing antidumping and countervailing duty petitions to protect U.S. manufacturers for predatory trade practices.

 

“Since 2011, eight U.S. mills that produce uncoated paper have been forced to close in the face of increasing unfairly traded imports, resulting in the loss of thousands of paper jobs.” said USW International President, Leo W. Gerard. “Foreign predatory practices targeting America’s producers and workers, including tens of thousands of our members, are the root cause of production declines and job losses.”

  

A copy of Senator Schumer’s letter to the ITC appears below:

 

Dear Chairman Broadbent:

 

I write in support of the efforts made by the International Trade Commission (ITC) to protect the domestic uncoated paper industry from potential predatory pricing practices by foreign paper manufacturers and from foreign government subsidization of uncoated paper imports. I commend the ITC for commencing an antidumping and countervailing duty investigation to determine whether the U.S. industry has been or is threatened with material injury from uncoated paper imports from China, Indonesia, Australia, Brazil, and Portugal.

 

On behalf of the uncoated paper producers in New York and across the country, I urge the ITC to conduct a thorough investigation to ensure a level playing field for domestic manufacturers. We must be tireless in our efforts to protect American manufacturers and their workers from predatory foreign trade practices.

 

Uncoated paper companies in New York have informed me that they are experiencing economic harm and market share loss as a direct result of foreign producers’ predatory pricing practices and foreign government subsidization. Finch Paper, which employs over 600 people in Glens Falls, New York, has reported to me that the recent dumping of uncoated paper on the U.S. market has hurt their business. Founded in downtown Glens Falls 150 years ago, Finch Paper is a cornerstone of Upstate New York manufacturing, with a total estimated economic impact of more than $370 million per year. Anticompetitive foreign business and government tactics must not be allowed to undermine U.S. manufacturers like Finch and their workers. It is increasingly difficult for companies like Finch to compete with foreign competitors who seek to expand their U.S. market share through anticompetitive pricing practices or who benefit from foreign government subsidization.

 

It is of the upmost importance that the ITC uphold a level playing field for our domestic manufacturers. I respectfully urge the ITC to vigorously enforce our antidumping and countervailing duty laws by conducting a thorough preliminary investigation. We must do all that we can to protect uncoated paper producers and their workers across the country from predatory foreign trade practices.

 

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. I look forward to your response.

 

Sincerely,

 

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

 

###



Previous Article Next Article