Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hurts So Good: Is International Paper Hoping To Be Punished?

Now we know why International Paper isn't joining with other North American paper companies in their recently filed anti-dumping complaint: It is supposedly one of the perpetrators.

Four paper makers and the industry's main union announced last week they were seeking tariffs against uncoated freesheet paper imported into the U.S. from five countries. The announcement listed the countries, but not the manufacturers, from which the "unfairly priced imports" were allegedly coming from.

But the complaint itself lists the alleged perpetrators, which include International Paper's Brazilian operation. IP would probably welcome the tariffs -- and not because it's been afflicted with a case of corporate masochism.

By discouraging imports, such tariffs would be likely to drive up U.S. prices for copy paper and other uncoated freesheets. With roughly one-fourth of the country's UFS market, IP would gain far more from the higher prices than its Brazilian mill would lose from reduced sales into the U.S.

Editor's note: According to a comment about this article in a LinkedIn group, IP's Brazilian operation brings some paper through the port of Miami for subsequent shipment to other countries but does not actually sell paper into the U.S. market. 

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