WASHINGTON, DC (August 2, 2012) The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a decision today revoking existing countervailing duty and antidumping orders against Indonesia regarding the export of certain lined paper school supplies to the United States. Though choosing to leave such duties and orders in place against Chinese and Indian exports of such paper, the ITC has now paved the way for Indonesian paper manufacturers to re-enter this business. The following is a statement from BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director David Foster on the decisions:
“The BlueGreen Alliance is focused on protecting both American jobs and our environment, and we are particularly troubled that the orders on lined paper school supplies from Indonesia should be revoked. It is no secret that many Indonesian lined paper producers do not always utilize the most environmentally responsible practices, have used illegal rainforest timber in their pulp and paper mills, and contribute to endangered species habitat destruction.
“As a part of their case to the ITC, these producers promised that they would not return to the U.S. market if the orders were removed citing the environmental concerns of U.S. retailers. Our concern is that these same Indonesian producers will simply find ways to circumvent retailer standards and, in fact, already have. For instance, even though Asia Pulp & Paper lost its Forest Stewardship Council (“FSC”) certification in 2007, one of Asia Pulp & Paper’s mills — Tjiwi Kimia — continues to claim on its website that its paper is FSC certified.
“Unfortunately, many large retailers are more concerned with purchasing goods such as school supplies for the lowest price than they are with protecting the environment. While some of these retailers may have corporate policies stressing the importance of environmental compliance, the fact remains that many of these policies are general and only aspirational in nature – not mandatory.
“We are deeply troubled that the ITC has voted to let such a bad environmental actor out of the order.”