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Appleton Hails Commerce Department Decision On Unfair Trade Practices

APPLETON, Wis., April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Appleton Papers issued a response today following a final determination by the U.S. Commerce Department that Papierfabrik August Koehler AG (Koehler) deliberately coordinated with multiple parties to structure its sales, pricing and shipping procedures in a manner that would enable it to manipulate its sales prices of lightweight thermal paper (LWTP) reported to the Department.  In its final decision, the Department noted that Koehler admitted the transshipment scheme and its concealment of reportable data.

As a result of what the Commerce Department deemed "fraudulent conduct" and a "pattern of deception" by Koehler, the Department imposed a duty of 75.36% on LWTP sold by the German-based company into the U.S., a duty the Department proposed in its preliminary determination issued in December 2012. The Department established the duty based on its original notice of initiation in the case, corroborated by an actual dumping margin calculated for a U.S. sale reported by Koehler.

Importers of LWTP produced by Koehler must now post cash deposits in the amount of the 75.36% duty. Those deposits go to United States Customs and Border Protection. Appleton receives no part of the tariffs, nor does the company recover any damages associated with the unfair trade practices.  

"The Commerce Department confirmed that Koehler has been engaged in a scheme to defraud the Department by intentionally concealing certain home market transactions which should have been reported," said Mark Richards, Appleton's chief executive officer. "Koehler's actions were calculated and indefensible." Richards added, "We appreciate the Department's efforts to ensure fair competition for all producers who sell LWTP in the U.S. market. This kind of enforcement is critical to rebuilding the U.S. manufacturing base."

In 2008, the Commerce Department affirmed that Koehler sold LWTP into the U.S. at prices below fair value and imposed antidumping duties that are subject to an annual administrative review. Imports of Koehler's LWTP sold into the U.S. had been subject to a 4.33% duty deposit.

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