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China turns the page on paper tariffs

CHINA will remove an anti-dumping tariff on newsprint paper imports from the United States, Canada and South Korea today, the Ministry of Commerce said yesterday.

The removal will mark an end to anti-dumping duties that China imposed a decade ago on the three countries to protect the domestic newsprint paper industry.

China imposed a tariff of up to 78 percent on newsprint paper imports from the three countries in June 1998.

At that time, several foreign paper companies were attracted by the vast market in China and exported newsprint paper to the mainland.

In 1996, the imported newsprint paper reached 56,000 tons, equivalent to 40 percent of the total domestic requirement.

But to compete with low-priced China-made newsprint paper, the foreign peers sold their better-quality products at low prices, taking advantage of mass production that helped cut costs.

In 1998, China ruled that the US, Canadian and South Korean firms that exported newsprint paper violated the principle of anti-dumping after receiving complaints from nine domestic paper producers.

Anti-dumping refers to a manufacturer in one country exporting a product to another country at a price which is either below what it charges in its home market or is below its costs of production.

China's imports of newsprint paper then dropped to 24,260 tons in 1999 and 20,000 tons in 2000.

However, China's newsprint paper industry has improved in recent years and now is able to compete with foreign companies. The growing demand for paper products also necessitated the need to raise imports to meet the gap, according to industry sources.


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