Papierfabrik August Koehler decides to reenter US market for lightweight thermal paper after US preliminary decision Dec. 26 not to apply dumping duty on imports of the grade from Germany; company says latest investigation found no evidence of dumping
GREAT NECK, New York
February 12, 2014
– Koehler America, Inc. announced today that its parent company, Papierfabrik August Koehler SE (Koehler), is preparing to reenter the U.S. market for lightweight thermal paper after the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a preliminary decision to apply a zero-percent dumping duty rate in the Department’s fourth administrative review of the antidumping order on lightweight thermal paper from Germany.
On December 26, 2013, the Department of Commerce published its preliminary finding that Koehler’s U.S. sales during the fourth review period were not dumped and that Koehler’s duty rate going forward should be zero. Koehler expects that the Department will reach the same conclusion when it publishes its final results in the spring of this year, notwithstanding the political pressure to reach a different result. If, as expected, the Department upholds its preliminary conclusions, Koehler will reenter the U.S. market for lightweight thermal paper with a zero-percent duty in April-June 2014, with the exact date determined by government deadlines.
The zero-percent rate calculated in the fourth review is based on actual sales information that the Department’s investigators verified. Specifically, during August and September 2013, the investigators examined Koehler’s sales and financial records for the relevant period, found that the information was accurate and complete, and concluded that the data show no dumping.
The petitioner has expressed disappointment with the preliminary finding of no dumping and is pressuring the Administration to increase the rate in its final decision. On February 3, 2014, a group of ten members of the U.S. Congress submitted a letter to the Secretary of Commerce expressing concern regarding the Department’s preliminary finding of no dumping. The letter appears to be based on incomplete information. The petitioner apparently provided information from the prior review (with a 75% penalty rate), focusing on old issues concerning a misreporting of sales (which Koehler corrected) and requesting reconsideration of arguments that Commerce already rejected in the preliminary results of the fourth annual review.
In addition to the Department’s annual reviews, the government also reviews every dumping order after five years. As part of that review, on February 10, 2014, Commerce issued a preliminary decision to continue the antidumping order, as is common practice for the Department. Recent press coverage could be interpreted to suggest that Koehler’s lightweight thermal paper will continue to be subject to the 75% duty rate. This is not the case. The new rate from the fourth review will apply. The final decision on whether Commerce will continue to conduct annual reviews in the future will be made by the International Trade Commission. The ITC conducts an extensive examination of the market and its participants, and is expected to issue its decision in October 2014.
Key Facts Regarding the Antidumping Case
Koehler America, Inc., a distributor of thermal paper, carbonless paper, and fine papers, is based in Great Neck, New York. Koehler America is wholly owned by Papierfabrik August Koehler SE, a family-run company with a 200-year history. In addition to its German operations, Koehler SE also operates two coaster manufacturers, The KATZ Group Americas, Inc. in Johnson City, Tennessee and The KATZ Group Americas, Inc. in Sanborn, New York. Guided by the principles of innovation and outstanding performance, the Koehler Paper Group has become a leader in the field of paper manufacturing.