WISCONSINREPORT.COM (03/08/08) - Wisconsin United States Senators Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold (both D-WI) have called on President George W. Bush to end unfair trade practices by overseas paper manufacturers that hurt domestic producers. Kohl and Feingold are trying to make the Bush Administration understand that, because paper mills are major employers in some regions of Wisconsin, such unfair trade practices could result in fewer employment opportunities in Wisconsin and other areas of the country where paper manufacturing has been making it possible for workers to support their families.
In a letter to Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, the Senators expressed concerns over the rapid influx of suspiciously low-priced imports of lightweight thermal paper from China and Germany in the US market while American companies struggle with increasing costs.
Senators Kohl and Feingold urged the Department, in their determination on March 7, 2008, to take action to halt unfairly traded LWTP imports from China and Germany.
“In Wisconsin, people are losing their jobs and livelihoods when paper plants are forced to close," Senator Kohl said. "Hundreds of families and entire communities suffer.”
"This week, the Administration has an opportunity to put an end to this alarming trend by halting the free flow of unfairly low-priced lightweight paper from overseas manufacturers," Kohl pointed out.
“Domestic paper producers, like those in Wisconsin, are being put at a serious disadvantage by foreign companies that use unfair trade practices,” Feingold said.
“As our country experiences tough economic times, the administration should do all it can to stop these practices and protect the jobs of hard-working Americans,” Senator Feingold argued.
The U.S. lightweight thermal paper industry produces carbonless paper and other paper products commonly used in business transactions, including paper invoices, credit card receipts, and ATM receipts.
The major U.S. LWTP manufacturer is a company called Appleton, which has major factories in Appleton and Portage, Wisconsin as well as other locations across the country.