The Ministry of Finance (MOF) announced yesterday that it would not levy temporary anti-dumping duties on imported coated paper from China, Japan, South Korea and Finland, as the government’s preliminary evaluation showed these imports did not cause real damage to the local paper manufacturing industry.
The MOF and the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) will initiate a second round of investigations and make a final decision on the levying of anti-dumping duties in mid-November at the soonest.
The Taiwan Paper Industry Association (台灣區造紙公會) filed anti-dumping charges with the MOF in July last year, with the ministry initially finding that most of these foreign papermakers had been dumping their products on the local market.
However, the first round of investigations made by the MOEA’s International Trade Commission (ITC) showed that although this dumping had raised concerns over the development of the local paper manufacturing industry, they did not directly damage the sector.
“Since the dumping was not proven to have hurt the paper manufacturing sector in Taiwan, we will not levy temporary anti-dumping duties on these imports before making a final decision,” Hsieh Ling-yuan (謝玲媛), deputy director of the MOF’s department of customs administration, told a media briefing.
The MOF may still change its decision when finishing final investigations, Hsieh said. However, historically the ministry has never reversed a different decision in an anti-dumping charge before.
The Magazine Business Association of Taipei (台北市雜誌公會) said the ministry’s decision followed public opinion.
“We appreciate the government’s support for the publishing industry,” the association said in an e-mailed statement.
The association said several local papermakers could monopolize the coated paper market if the ministry levies anti-dumping duties on foreign paper manufacturing firms, which would raise costs and drag down the domestic publishing sector.
Yuen Foong Yu Paper Manufacturing Co (永豐餘造紙), Taiwan’s largest papermaker, now controls more than 50 percent of the domestic coated paper market since merging with Chung Hwa Pulp Corp (中華紙漿) in March, data provided by the association showed.
Separately, the MOF said it had finished an investigation into ascertaining whether to maintain anti-dumping duties on footwear imported from China. The decision was due on March 15 this year, but if they decide to keep the duties, they could be applied retroactively.
The investigation found that dumping could reoccur if the ministry lifts anti-dumping duties, because of the large scale of China’s footwear exports.
China exported US$41.72 billion in footwear last year, with Taiwan importing just 0.186 percent of that total, ministry statistics showed.
A final decision on this case will be made in mid-October at the soonest, after the MOEA completes its investigation and reports to the MOF.