WASHINGTON The U.S. Department of Commerce on Friday said it had reaffirmed in a final, more thorough review an earlier decision to impose punitive duties on Chinese and German imports of lightweight thermal paper used to print cash-register receipts.
The department said it has set final countervailing duty rates of between 0.57% to 137.25% on Chinese imports. In addition, those imports face antidumping duties of between 19.77% and 115.29%.
German imports face antidumping duties of 6.5%.
The countries' exporters have been selling lightweight thermal paper to U.S. importers at less than fair value, the department said.
The U.S. government initiated its investigation after a complaint was filed by Appleton, Wis.-based Appleton Papers Inc. Appleton is located in an area of northeastern Wisconsin known as the Paper Valley because its economy has been built on and still relies heavily on paper manufacturing.
Although punitive duties on the affected imports currently are being collected, the U.S. International Trade Administration still must release its final opinion on whether the imports have injured domestic paper makers. Its decision is due out in November. Should the administration find that U.S. industry hasn't suffered as a result of the import, those funds would be returned.
The decision to impose duties on lightweight thermal paper imports is one of many the government has made in the past year, signaling a shift in its trade enforcement policies, particularly against China.
China, however, has requested consultations with the World Trade Organization under its dispute settlement process. China claims the imposition of punitive duties on certain exports to the U.S. isn't in keeping with U.S. legal precedents and could result on double taxation of its goods.
-By Meena Thiruvengadam, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-6629; firstname.lastname@example.org
(Terence Poon in Beijing contributed to this article.)