PITTSBURGH, Dec. 7, 2017 — The World Trade Organization (WTO) yesterday rebuffed Indonesia's challenge to the U.S. countervailing duty determination by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) on coated paper imports. In addition it upheld the injury determination by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in the same case. In fact, every challenge to both determinations was rejected by the panel. 

“This is long overdue good news for the workers whose jobs were hanging in the balance in this challenge,” said United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard. “The panel's decision is consistent with the WTO agreements as written and negotiated. But in far too many cases, U.S. workers and their employers have seen frivolous suits upheld by WTO panels and its Appellate Body. This has undermined confidence in the WTO and its dispute settlement system.

“It is critical that our laws be faithfully enforced. When trade is fair, U.S. workers can compete with anyone. Challenges in the WTO need to respect the limitations built into the dispute settlement system; too frequently they are overlooked by panels or the Appellate Body,” said Gerard.

“The U.S. coated paper industry and our members have suffered mightily over recent years with unfair trade practices compounding the challenges of declining overall demand,” said Jon Geenen, the USW's International Vice President who oversees the paper sector.

“Both the DOC and the ITC conducted thorough investigations. Their determinations were consistent with U.S. law, regulations and practice, and consistent with our international obligations. 

“We thank the team at the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Commerce and the ITC for their hard and effective work on this WTO challenge.”

USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. For more information: http://www.usw.org.

CONTACT: Holly Hart (202) 778-4384
[email protected]

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SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

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