Auburn Manufacturing, Rumford’s ND Paper mill honored with international trade awards

Sun Journal file photo by Russ Dillingham

PORTLAND — Maine companies in 2018 exported goods and services to 169 countries around the globe. Kathie Leonard shipped to 38 of them.

The Maine International Trade Center on Tuesday named Leonard’s Auburn Manufacturing its Exporter of the Year in the 2019 International Trade and Investment Awards.

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Auburn Manufacturing, in Auburn and Mechanic Falls, specializes in heat-resistant textiles.

Not everyone is going to work in IT or science,Manufacturing jobs are good jobs. They pay a living wage with good benefits, and we need that for a lot of people in this country

The trade center also named ND Paper, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Limited, its Foreign Direct Investor of the Year.

The Chinese company bought and invested in the Rumford paper mill last year and plans to reopen a paper mill in Old Town this summer.

What’s exciting about ND Paper is they are bringing a 100-year outlook to these mills, so our focus has switched from surviving to thriving,These investments give the communities hope and the next generation hope of a future in the pulp and paper industry.

mill Manager Randy Chicoine said in the release.

Last year, 2,087 Maine companies exported $2.8 billion in goods and services, according to the trade center, with the top four exports being seafood, semiconductors, aircraft parts and forest products.

In recognizing Leonard and Auburn Manufacturing, the trade group pointed to Leonard successfully taking on the flood of subsidized Chinese heat-resistant fabric hitting the U.S. market and illegally undercutting her sales. The U.S. International Trade Commission ultimately placed a 200 to 300 percent duty on those Chinese products.

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