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U.S. Department of Commerce Initiates Circumvention Inquiries into Imports of Uncoated Paper from Australia, Brazil, China, and Indonesia


Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the initiation of new inquiries into imports of uncoated paper from Australia, Brazil, China, and Indonesia, to determine if imports of uncoated paper in roll form, which are then converted into sheets of paper after entering the United States, result in circumvention of the existing antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders.

U.S. law provides that Commerce may conduct a circumvention inquiry of AD/CVD orders when evidence suggests that merchandise subject to an existing order is completed or assembled in the United States from parts and components imported from the country subject to an AD/CVD order, and the process of assembly or completion in the United States is minor or insignificant.

In 2018, imports of uncoated paper in sheet, roll, and folio form from Australia, Brazil, China, and Indonesia were valued at an estimated $3.9 million, $61.2 million, $1.9 million, and $14.9 million, respectively.

These inquiries are being initiated in response to requests from U.S. producers of uncoated paper: Domtar Corporation, Packaging Corporation of America, North Pacific Paper Company, Finch Paper LLC, as well as the United Steel, Paper, and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial Service Workers International Union.

If Commerce preliminarily determines that circumvention is occurring, it will instruct Customs and Border Protection to begin collecting cash deposits on rolls of uncoated paper from Australia, Brazil, China, and Indonesia, that are subject to the inquiry. These duties will be imposed on future imports, and on any unliquidated entries since the date on which Commerce initiated these circumvention inquiries.

The strict enforcement of U.S. trade law is a primary focus of the Trump Administration. Since the beginning of the current Administration, Commerce has initiated 25 new circumvention inquiries – a 178 percent increase from the number of circumvention initiations made during the comparable period in the previous administration.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance unit within the International Trade Administration is responsible for vigorously enforcing U.S. trade law and does so through an impartial, transparent process that abides by international law and is based on factual evidence provided on the record.