Contact: Wayne Ranick (412) 562-2442
Pittsburgh, PA – A study released today documenting illegal subsidies to Chinese paper producers strengthens the argument of the United Steelworkers (USW) union that U.S., policymakers must intervene now to preserve the domestic paper industry and hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs.
The report, No Paper Tiger: Subsidies to China’s Paper Industry from 2002-2009, released by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) documents $33 billion in government subsidies to the Chinese paper industry for pulp, coal, electricity and recycled paper, enabling the Chinese paper industry to sell its products at artificially low prices.
That falsely low-priced paper dumped on the U.S. market makes American-manufactured paper appear uncompetitive, forcing plant closings, killing jobs and damaging communities.
“With so many Americans out of work, we cannot continue to hemorrhage paper manufacturing jobs because China violates international trade laws with massive subsidies to its industry,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard.
China’s government-controlled economy enables it to subsidize industries in ways never considered in market-controlled economies like the United States. In addition, government subsidization of industry violates international trade regulations.
“There are too many industries – glass, paper, tire, tubular steel – where China upsets the global market by grossly and systematically subsidizing its production,” Gerard said.
“Free trade must be fair and rules-based or manufacturing in North America will further deteriorate, throwing millions more Americans out of work,” said Gerard. “The only solution is for U.S. lawmakers to demand China obey international trade laws or to impose sanctions on Chinese imports that will have that effect.”
The results of the study confirm the long-time contention of the USW and U.S. paper manufacturers that China improperly subsidizes its paper industry in ways that destroy American manufacturing and American jobs. The USW and three paper companies -- Appleton Coated LLC, NewPage Corporation, and Sappi Fine Paper North America filed suit seeking relief from the effects of the Chinese subsidies and have won every stage of that case.
The USW represents 850,000 workers in North American, including some 130,000 who manufacture paper products.
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