The paper industry has been facing hard times due to what Time Warner Cable News calls "price dumping" by overseas paper companies.
Price dumping is when companies sell exports below the value of the product in their home countries. The practice is illegal, but that hasn't stopped countries like China, Brazil, Australia, Portugal and Indonesia from shutting down approximately eight paper mills in the United States.
Foreign competitors price dumping with paper products
On top of competing against the digital world, paper manufacturers have to deal with the overseas competitors.
"Every single day we are confronted in the U.S. paper market by bargain-basement pricing from foreign manufacturers who operate with subsidies from their governments," Dababrata Mukherjee, president and CEO of Finch Paper, told the Times Union.
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer is proposing tariffs to prevent price dumping from foreign competitors. According to Time Warner Cable News, this will be accomplished by encouraging the international trade commission to impose regulations on these competitors. Mukherjee told the Times Union that these overseas companies – especially ones in China – have cost Finch Paper in particular tens of millions of dollars.
Obstacles for the paper industry
The paper industry has been competing against both price dumpers and the digital world at home. With these struggles, it's hard to comprehend that paper products will not be going away anytime soon.
Offices have taken notice of the trend of going paperless, but it has been proven to be less green than using hard-copy documents. Additionally, many employees enjoy using paper documents instead of electronic copies, as they're more professional and easier to comprehend. Staff can struggle to read screens and become strained.
According to the Earth Times, paper companies can take the initiative to make their products green through regulations and conscious effort. The Asia Pulp and Paper company worked alongside The Rainforest Alliance to create a plan to conserve the rainforest through their paper printing practices.
Paper is greener and preferred
There is a stigma around paper products with the belief that they're less green than their digital counterparts. However, products such as e-readers take a great amount of energy to produce, and the plastic made for them is much more harmful to the environment than paper waste will ever be.
The Huffington Post reported that the energy and materials to create one e-reader are equal to the energy it takes to create 40 to 50 printed books. There are further benefits to using print – employees will be happier. The source highlighted how paper has a longer lifecycle, a preferred texture and encourages better reading comprehension.
The paper mills that are struggling against the harsh competitive tactics of oversea manufacturers will hopefully overcome with Schumer's help.
"Both Democratic and Republican presidents have let China get away with economic murder and that has got to stop," Schumer said.
Paper manufacturers in the U.S. have to work to prove themselves to the public. This means advertising how paper products are preferred and greener than their digital competitors.