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For Immediate Release: March 10, 2008
Contact: Brittany Eck  (202) 482-3809


WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced its affirmative preliminary determination in the countervailing duty investigation on lightweight thermal paper from the People's Republic of China. Commerce preliminarily determined that Chinese producers/exporters received net countervailable subsidies ranging from 0.57 (de minimis) to 59.50 percent.

Lightweight thermal paper is a paper coated with chemicals that react to form images when exposed to heat.  It is typically used in point-of-sale applications such as printed receipts from transactions with ATMs, credit cards, gas pumps, and retail stores.

“Commerce preliminarily found that the Chinese government gave subsidies to producers of lightweight thermal paper. Subsidies distort global trade flows and disadvantage American manufacturers in the global marketplace,” said Assistant Secretary for Import Administration David Spooner. “The Administration will continue to vigorously enforce our countervailing duty and antidumping laws, and will take appropriate remedies based on the facts presented in each case.”

The petitioner for these investigations is Appleton Papers, Inc. (WI).

The Department of Commerce is charged with the enforcement of U.S. trade remedy laws including enforcing our domestic anti-subsidy law, the CVD law. Anti-dumping trade rules and countervailing duty trade rules are both tools that are sanctioned by the WTO to deal with unfair pricing and subsidization of imports. Government subsides distort the free flow of goods and adversely affect American business in the global marketplace. Foreign governments subsidize industries when they provide financial assistance to benefit the production, manufacture or exportation of goods. Subsidies can take many forms, such as direct cash payments, credits against taxes, and loans at terms that do not reflect market considerations. The statute and regulations establish standards for determining when an unfair subsidy has been conferred. The amount of subsidies the foreign producer receives from the government is the basis for the subsidy rate by which the subsidy is offset or "countervailed."

For more information about Import Administration or for the fact sheet on today's preliminary decision, please visit

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