Ten North American environmental groups, including Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and ForestEthics, issued a letter to various printers and paper buyers today asking them not to buy paper from Eagle Ridge Paper, claiming the merchant is a division of Asia Pulp and Paper (APP).
The letter claims that APP “is obtaining pulp and paper products from operations having adverse climate, human rights, and biodiversity impacts in Indonesia,” reports The Paper Planet. APP established Eagle Ridge as a front in the U.S., the letter adds, after APP “lost hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts” from such companies as Office Depot and Staples “because of its poor environmental and social record and its reported links to illegally obtained wood.”
Meanwhile, an APP-backed organization called Save Printer Jobs is urging U.S. printers to oppose anti-dumping penalties on coated paper from Indonesia and China. The U.S. Department of Commerce is scheduled to issue a preliminary ruling March 1on the case, which was brought by NewPage, Sappi, Appleton Coated, and the United Steelworkers union.
“A tariff on imported coated paper from China and Indonesia will hurt the U.S. printing industry” by driving up paper prices, the organization claims. “Higher costs will force many publishers to seek cheaper printing options in Canada and Mexico – or forgo printing some products all together.”
Save Printer Jobs also notes the “hypocrisy” of American mills claiming they are being hurt by government-subsidized Asian paper after the U.S. industry received about $9 billion in black liquor credits during 2009. NewPage and SAPPI received more than $400 million last year in black liquor credits, which critics claim is an abuse of a program that was intended to encourage production of new, environmentally friendly fuels.
“How can giant mills claim, with a straight face, that they are victims rather than perpetrators of market distortion?” Save Printer Jobs asks. “The giant mills and their hedge fund backers won’t give the taxpayers back their money from 2009, but it is not too late to stop their effort to slap an unwarranted tariff on imported paper that will raise costs for the printing industry and eventually drive U.S. printing jobs overseas.”
Some of the 10 organizations involved in today’s letter about Eagle Ridge have also opposed U.S. subsidies for black liquor, a pulp byproduct commonly used as a power source by pulp mills.
- Subsidized U.S. Mills Fight Back Against Subsidized, Cross-Dressing Coated Papers discusses the original filing of the antidumping case.
- Illegal Logging in Indonesia: Not Funny describes Indonesia's destructive forestry practices.
- Black Liquor Scorecard: $4.7 Billion Through September details what 21 publicly traded companies received in black liquor credits through the 3rd Quarter. Some of the companies have not reported 4th Quarter numbers yet.