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New Trade Case on Imports of Paper File Folders From China, India, and Vietnam

October 13, 2022

New U.S. antidumping (“AD”) duty petitions were filed on Oct. 12 by the Coalition of Domestic Folder Manufacturers against imports of paper file folders from China, India, and Vietnam. The petitions also seek the imposition of countervailing duty (“CVD”) on imports from India.

The merchandise covered by these petitions consists of file folders, primarily of paper, paperboard, pressboard, or other cellulose material, whether coated or uncoated, that have been folded (or creased in preparation to be folded), glued, taped, bound, or otherwise assembled for holding documents. Please see the scope section below for a full description of the proposed subject merchandise.

The Department of Commerce (“DOC”) and the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) will conduct the investigations. Within the next 45 days, the ITC will determine if there is a reasonable indication that the imports are injuring the U.S. industry. If the ITC finds that this standard is met, the cases will move to the DOC, which will calculate the preliminary AD and CVD duty margins.

The DOC’s preliminary determinations are currently scheduled for March 21, 2023 (AD) and Jan. 5, 2023 (CVD). On the date of publication of DOC’s preliminary determinations, importers will be required to deposit the calculated duties upon the products’ entry into the U.S. market.

There are strict statutory deadlines associated with these proceedings and affected companies are advised to prepare as soon as possible. If this product is of interest to you, please let us know so that we can provide you with additional information as it becomes available.

The following are key facts about this trade case:

Petitioners: Coalition of Domestic Folder Manufacturers.

Foreign Producers/Exporters and US Importers: Please contact us for a listing of individual companies named in the petition.

AD/CVD margins: Petitioners have alleged the following AD/CVD margins:

  • China: calculated dumping margins between 84.51 and 202.26 percent, ad valorem;
  • India: calculated dumping margins between 120.50 and 227.88 percent, ad valorem, and a CVD margin of above de minimis; and
  • Vietnam: calculated dumping margins between 182.67 and 236.358 percent, ad valorem.

Merchandise covered by the scope of the case:

The products within the scope of these petitions are file folders consisting primarily of paper, paperboard, pressboard, or other cellulose material, whether coated or uncoated, that have been folded (or creased in preparation to be folded), glued, taped, bound, or otherwise assembled to be suitable for holding documents. The scope includes all such folders, regardless of color, whether or not expanding, and with or without tabs, fasteners, closures, hooks, rods, hangers, pockets, gussets, or internal dividers. Subject folders, which typically are used to hold letter and legal-size documents, have the following dimensions in their folded and closed position: a length and width of at least 8 inches and no greater than 17 inches, regardless of depth. The scope covers all varieties of folders, including but not limited to manila folders, hanging folders, fastener folders, classification folders, expanding folders, pockets, jackets, and wallets.

Excluded from the scope are:

  1. Mailing envelopes with a flap bearing one or more adhesive strips that can be used permanently to seal the entire length of a side such that, when sealed, the folder is closed on all four sides;
  2. Binders, with two or more rings to hold documents in place, made from paperboard or pressboard encased entirely in plastic;
  3. Non-expanding folders with a depth exceeding 7 inches and that are closed or closeable on the top, bottom, and all four sides (e.g., boxes or cartons);
  4. Fashion folders, which are defined as folders with all of the following characteristics: (1) plastic lamination covering the entire exterior of the folder, (2) printing, foil stamping, embossing (i.e., raised relief patterns that are recessed on the opposite side), and/or debossing (i.e., recessed relief patterns that are raised on the opposite side), covering the entire exterior surface area of the folder, (3) at least two visible and distinct printed or foil stamped colors other than the color of the base paper, and other than the printing of numbers, letters, words, or logos, each of which separately covers no less than 10 percent of the entire exterior surface area, and (4) patterns, pictures, designs, or artwork covering no less than thirty percent of the exterior surface area of the folder;
  5. Portfolios, which are folders having (1) a width of at least 16 inches when open flat, (2) no tabs or dividers, and (3) one or more pockets that are suitable for holding letter-size documents and that cover at least 15 percent of the surface area of the relevant interior side or sides; and
  6. Report covers, which are folders having (1) no tabs, dividers, or pockets, and (2) one or more fasteners or clips, each of which is permanently affixed to the center fold, to hold papers securely in place.

Imports of the subject merchandise are provided for under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) category 4820.30.0040 and may appear in other HTSUS categories, including 4820.30.0020. While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Mark Ludwikowski (mludwikowski@clarkhill.com; 202-640-6680), Kevin Williams (kwilliams@clarkhill.com; 312-985-5907); Will Sjoberg (wsjoberg@clarkhill.com; 202-772-0924), Aristeo Lopez (alopez@clarkhill.com; 202-552-2366), Sally Alghazali (salghazali@clarkhill.com; 202-572-8676), or other members of Clark Hill’s International Trade Business Unit.

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