BlueGreen Alliance, Sierra Club, NRDC, and NWF Welcome USITC Decision, Urge Further Consideration of Illegal Logging Subsidies
WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 22, 2010) The BlueGreen Alliance, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, and National Wildlife Federation today welcomed a finding by U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) that dumped and subsidized coated paper products from China and Indonesia are threatening to injure U.S. producers and workers, but also urged that the environmental and economic impact of illegal logging be considered as a contributing factor to these unfair subsidies.
“U.S. manufacturers are struggling to compete against imported, illegally-harvested, low-priced wood and wood products, and today’s decision will help to level the playing field,” said BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director David Foster. “We are pleased that the USITC and Department of Commerce have recognized the trade violations of China and Indonesia, but it is critical that we recognize the economic and environmental impact of deforestation.”
This USITC decision underscores an earlier Department of Commerce determination that imported coated paper from Indonesia and China is being dumped and unfairly subsidized by significant margins. Today’s findings allow for the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on unfairly traded imports of coated paper from China and Indonesia by the Department of Commerce.
“The USITC’s acknowledgement today is an important step forward in leveling the playing field for U.S. workers,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune. “But there is also an unmistakable connection between the Indonesian pulp and paper industry, unfair trade subsidies, illegal logging, and climate disruption – making it critical that the USITC consider the true economic and environmental costs of global trade in the future.”
Deforestation, in large part due to illegal logging, has made Indonesia the world’s third largest emitter of global warming pollution. According to the World Resources Institute, approximately 25 percent of Indonesia’s forests have been cleared since 1990. Endangered species such as the Sumatran tiger, orangutan, rhinoceros and elephant are on the brink of local extinction as their habitats continue to disappear. These practices have also led to grave human rights violations of workers and communities in harvest countries.
“International action on climate change must address deforestation, to which a significant contributor is the practice of illegal logging,” said Jake Schmidt, International Climate Policy Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Today’s decision will help to ensure that incentives for destruction of the world’s tropical forests are eliminated, but unfortunately doesn’t fully recognize the impact that illegal logging is having in Indonesia.”
“The global race to produce cheap wood fiber has come at a steep price for wildlife, jobs, and the planet’s ability to scrub greenhouse gases from healthy forests” said Eric Palola, senior director of National Wildlife Federation’s forest program. “This decision is a positive step towards limiting the effects of export dumping on U.S. jobs and the world’s forests.”