U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) testified Thursday before the International Trade Commission on the topic of how unfair trade practices have affected Domtar Paper Co. and its Ashdown, Ark., operation.
In December 2014, Domtar announced its No. 64 machine at its Ashdown facility would be permanently converted from manufacturing paper to manufacturing "fluff pulp," a material used as the absorbent material in baby diapers and adult incontinence products. The conversion will cost the region 100 high-paying manufacturing jobs.
"I credit Domtar for doing what they have done to lessen this impact, but this is little consolation to the sandwich shop owner or the transmission shop owner who has seen customers disappear," Westerman testified. "I am here today on behalf of the more than 900 Ashdown employees to ask that the preliminary determinations of dumping by producers in Australia, Brazil, China, Indonesia and Portugal and the preliminary imposition of countervailing duties against producers in Indonesia and China be made final," said Westerman, who represents the Arkansas 4th Congressional District.
"The issue of unfair international trade is not just impacting Domtar and the other petitioners, but indeed has negatively impacted all segments of the industry. As producers in the countries cited earlier dumped their products on our shores, some at subsidized prices, domestic producers have seen their market share erode away. The 4th Congressional District has lost paper production at several sites over the recent past. Allowing foreign producers to have unrestricted access to the open markets of the United States, while some of these producers are knowingly defrauding us by dumping undervalued products is inexcusable," he said.
Westerman's complete testimony is available for download as a pdf at westerman.house.gov.