U.S. Rep. Michaud praises passage of House bill against illegal trade action he says directly affects Maine paper mills owned by NewPage, Sappi, says legislation would protect countervailing, anti-dumping duties on coated paper imports from China
March 7, 2012
– Today, Congressman Mike Michaud, Chairman of the House Trade Working Group, praised passage of a bill (H.R. 4105) he’s been pushing that would reverse a recent court decision that prevents the U.S. from cracking down on the illegal trade actions of countries like China. The court decision and the bill directly impact Maine paper mills owned by NewPage Corporation and Sappi Fine Paper North America.
On February 16th, Michaud, an original cosponsor of H.R. 4105, joined with Congressman Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio) to send a bipartisan letter signed by 41 of their congressional colleagues to House leadership urging immediate consideration of the bill.
Michaud spoke in support of the bill on the floor of the House of Representatives today, and the full text of his speech can be found below. Following House passage, this legislation is deemed passed in the Senate and goes to President Obama for his signature.
“I rise today in strong support of H.R. 4105. Passing this bill will ensure that the Commerce Department has the authority to apply tariffs on illegally subsidized goods from China and other nonmarket economies.
“For the state of Maine, passing this bill will protect the countervailing and anti-dumping duties in place on coated paper imports from China. From 2002 to 2009 China provided more than $33 billion in subsidies – many of them illegal – to its paper sector. As a result China overtook the U.S. as the world’s largest producer of paper and paper products.
“This growth in Beijing’s paper sector hit Maine’s mills hard. Since 2008, Maine workers from both Sappi Fine and NewPage companies have become eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance after they were laid-off as a result of increased foreign imports.
“But after countervailing and antidumping duties were applied to paper imports from China, one mill hired 100 employees. That is just one example of how much of a difference countervailing duties can make for an American company having to compete against illegally subsidized Chinese goods.
“H.R. 4105 will ensure that countervailing duties can continue to be applied to illegally subsidized goods from all countries, including China. This bill is critical to ensuring that our American businesses compete on a level playing field, and I urge all of my colleagues to vote for it.”