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Paper dumpers must pay duty on imports

Friday, 21 April 2017
By Graham Osborne

Australian Paper's mill at Maryvale

Australian Paper has welcomed the federal government’s decision to introduce dumping duties on A4 copy paper exported to Australia from Brazil, China, Indonesia and Thailand.

Craig Laundy, Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, announced the move yesterday after considering the Anti-Dumping Commissioner’s (ADC) finding that Chinese, Thai, Brazilian and the majority of Indonesian exporters of A4 copy paper have been selling dumped paper into the Australian market.

Australian Paper called for an investigation in 2014 after imports sold below the cost of production began threatening jobs at its Maryvale mill in the Latrobe Valley.

Australia’s only office paper manufacturer, owned by Japan’s Nippon Group, has now called on government departments to immediately stop buying dumped copy paper to help restore a level playing field.

'An opportunity to restore fairness': Peter Williams, COO, Australian Paper

“Government employees should immediately check the copy paper in their print rooms to see if it is dumped paper from Indonesia, China, Brazil or Thailand,” says Peter Williams, COO Australian Paper. “Government departments must act now and stop buying dumped copy paper to support valuable manufacturing jobs in the Latrobe Valley.”

Recent data from the Department of Finance confirmed that many Australian Government departments are purchasing paper from dumped sources.

“We thank the ADC for their commitment in conducting a rigorous investigation into the dumping of A4 copy paper into the Australian market, and the Assistant Minister for accepting these recommendations,” says Williams. “By imposing dumping duties on imports from all countries under investigation, the ADC has confirmed the damage sustained by local manufacturing from dumped copy paper.

“The ADC’s findings are an opportunity to restore fairness to the local copy paper market so that Australian Paper is secure to invest in the future of Latrobe Valley manufacturing. Any country which has been selling dumped copy paper into the Australian market has been putting local jobs at risk and should be excluded from the Australian Whole of Government Stationery and Office supply tender.”

Williams says the ADC must continue to keep a close eye on imports coming into Australia to ensure that dumping duties are immediately added to the imported price of copy paper so they do not enter the market below the injurious pricing level.

“The ADC should remain ready to investigate and continue to take appropriate action to maintain fair competition in the Australian market,” Williams says.

During a lengthy and complex investigation, the Anti-Dumping Commissioner found that: exports of A4 copy paper from Brazil, China, Indonesia (with the exception of one exporter) and Thailand were dumped with dumping margins ranging between 2.9 per cent and 45.1 per cent; exports of A4 copy paper from uncooperative exporters in China received countervailable subsidies with a subsidy margin of 7.0 per cent; and these dumped and subsidised imports caused material injury to the Australian industry manufacturing A4 copy paper.

“It involved numerous parties including 11 exporters, nine importers and three governments,” says Laundy. “During the investigation, interested parties made a total of 151 submissions – 63 of those provided after the commissioner’s preliminary findings were published last December.

“The measures imposed as a result of this investigation will provide an effective safeguard to Australian Paper from the effects of dumped and subsidised imports from the four countries subject to this investigation. Those four countries accounted for 94 per cent of A4 copy paper imported during the investigation period.”

Laundy says almost 100 per cent of the exports from China – the largest source of A4 copy paper imported into Australia – would be subject to a dumping margin of 34.4 per cent.

“This decision is about ensuring a level playing field between Australia and our trading partners.”

Affected parties have 30 days to lodge an appeal with the Anti-Dumping Review Panel.

The full, 233-page ADC report can be found here.





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