Balance the scales

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Last fall, three United States paper producers and the United Steel Workers union filed two petitions against China and Indonesia, charging illegal dumping of coated paper.

Those countries don’t ban child labor, they pay sweatshop wages, have lower safety laws, practice illegal logging and have government subsidies. The end result: They flood the U.S.  market with cheap paper.

We cannot stand by and let imports unfairly take away our good jobs and close down our mills. It is vital to the paper industry that we win these cases.

Recently, the Department of Commerce has recognized that China and Indonesia are, in fact, illegally subsidizing their coated paper. That is a step in the right direction.

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I’m asking that our state and federal legislators, town officials and citizens of the greater River Valley step up to the plate and get involved in the effort to reinforce strong tariff penalties for import violations and unfair trade laws.

We need the International Trade Commission to find that our industry in the United States is suffering because of dumped imports. They must impose duties to balance the scales.

Fran Dragoon, Hartford

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