WASHINGTON - U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman today said he was pleased with China’s decision to repeal its antidumping duty order on kraft linerboard from the United States, following negotiations between the United States and China. Kraft linerboard is a paper product that is used to make corrugated boxes.
"China responded to U.S. concerns by eliminating their antidumping order on kraft linerboard," Ambassador Portman said. "As we made clear to the Chinese Government last week, the United States was on the verge of filing a WTO case if this issue was not resolved in a satisfactory manner. I’m pleased that through negotiations we were able to persuade China to terminate these unfair barriers to U.S. products."
In September 2005, China issued a final determination finding that U.S. producers were dumping kraft linerboard in the Chinese market at margins ranging from 12.9% to 65.2%. China is the second largest market for the U.S. producers, with exports exceeding $132 million in 2004, and the antidumping duties imposed by China are prohibitive for many of them. Various aspects of China’s antidumping investigation and determination appeared to have breached China’s WTO obligations under the Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (Antidumping Agreement) and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT 1994).
On September 30, 2005, in response to a petition filed by four Chinese companies that produce kraft linerboard, the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China ("MOFCOM") issued a final determination finding that U.S. producers were dumping kraft linerboard in the Chinese market. MOFCOM also found that producers from Thailand, South Korea and Taiwan were dumping, and that cumulated subject imports were causing material injury to the Chinese industry. Under international trade laws, one country accuses producers of another country of "dumping" when it believes products are being imported below their cost of production or home-market price, and the country believes its own producers are being injured by those imports.
The United States and our producers strongly disagreed with China's decision to impose antidumping duties on U.S. kraft linerboard, including with respect to China’s determination of injury and the way in which China administered the investigation. For this reason, U.S. producers submitted a petition to MOFCOM on November 29, 2005, requesting reconsideration of the September 2005 determination.