Expera Specialty Solutions, LLC (“Expera”) announced today the shutdown of assets related to the Old Town pulp mill (“Old Town”) in Maine. Expera acquired the assets in December 2014. Expera purchased the facility after the mill had been closed indefinitely by its previous owners. “Expera successfully restarted the mill,” said Russ Wanke, President and CEO of Expera Specialty Solutions. “However, since the restart, the decline of the Canadian dollar exchange rate combined with a significant increase of new pulp capacity has led to a material drop in market pulp prices. In addition, wood costs have not moderated in Maine commensurate with demand decline. The combination of these forces does not allow sustainable operations even with a dedicated and talented team of employees.”
American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement regarding the anti-circumvention petitions filed on August 2 by several U.S. manufacturers and the United Steelworkers with the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission for uncoated freesheet paper in rolls from Australia, China, Indonesia, Brazil and Portugal.
“AF&PA supports free and fair trade policies. U.S. trade laws include provisions to ensure that U.S. companies and workers are not harmed by foreign unfair trade practices. The petitions represent an effort to ensure that foreign producers do not circumvent the payment of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on uncoated free sheet paper in sheet form that have been in place since early 2016 by importing sheeter rolls into the U.S. that are then converted into sheet form. We encourage the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission to review carefully the evidence provided in the petitions and to make a determination as quickly as possible.
“The U.S. paper industry operates in a highly-competitive global market. Government enforcement of domestic and international trade rules is important to safeguard the health of the U.S. paper industry and for markets to function properly.”