China said yesterday it has imposed temporary anti-dumping tariffs on coated art paper imported from the United States, South Korea and Japan.
This was the result of the first anti-dumping case filed after China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO).
"According to investigations by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (MOFTEC), the State Economic and Trade Commission (SETC) has decided that these imported products have hurt domestic firms," MOFTEC said on its website.
It said that an anti-dumping duty took effect from yesterday and related enterprises are required to deposit cash at Chinese customs.
A 29.65 percent duty was imposed on products made by US firm Westvaco Corp.
Westvaco merged with Mead earlier this year to form MeadWestvaco, one of the largest US makers of paper and packaging.
Duties of 5.58 percent to 31.09 percent were imposed on at least six major South Korean paper makers, including Hansol, Shinho, Shinmoorim, Hankuk, Kye Sung and Moorim.
Japan's Nippon Paper Industries will have to pay a 23.89 percent import duty and Oji Paper 56.52 pe cent, the statement added.
Nippon Paper merged with Daishowa Paper Manufacturing in March 2001 to create Japan's largest paper maker, Nippon Unipac Holding.
The statement said it decided to drop anti-dumping charges on Finnish products because they constituted less than 1.5 percent of Chinese imports.
Interested parties can appeal to MOFTEC and the SETC within 20 days.
China launched the probe against South Korea, Japan, the United States and Finland on February 6 on the application of four local paper manufacturers - East Gold Paper Co Ltd, Shandong Quanlin Paper Co Ltd, Jiangnan Paper Mill and Wanhao Paper Group Co Ltd.
The four companies accounted for 65.6 and 56.6 percent of the country's total output of coated art paper in 2000 and 2001, according to SETC statistics.
Zhao Wei, an official from the China Paper Industry Association, said this preliminary success stems from rising awareness of local enterprises on how to protect their market share through using WTO rules.
Wang Chuanguo, assistant general manager of Shandong Quanlin Paper, said this investigation increased their knowledge of related laws and WTO rules.
Wu Xingfang, general manager of the Jiangsu-based Gold East, said filing the application did not aim to close the market to coated art paper manufacturers from those countries, but sought a level playing field.
Low prices of coated art paper offered by manufacturers from these countries are below the normal value and seriously affect the operation of local companies, whose annual profits dropped by an average 559.74 percent between 1999 and 2001, as are revealed by SETC statistics.
Experts reiterated their call to local companies to learn how to use related WTO rules brought about by China's WTO entry to protect their interests.
(China Daily November 27, 2002)