BC vows to fight USA decision on pulp and paper tariffs

Cornelia Mascio
Marzo 15, 2018

"B.C.is extremely disappointed that the current US administration has, once again, made the decision to impose unfair tariffs, this time on B.C. newsprint producers".

The News Media Alliance, a coalition of media organizations that includes approximately 2,000 newspapers in the US and Canada, denounced the Commerce decision in a statement Tuesday.

In January, Canadian newsprint producers were hit with an overall tariff of 6.53 per cent.

The effects of the combined duties are expected to hit newspapers in smaller US communities especially hard.

"Some small-market or rural newspapers, with slim margins, will close", he said.

According to the Government of Canada's Trade Data Online, Canadian uncoated groundwood and newsprint paper exports to the United States totaled about $2 billion CAD in 2017. This definition includes but is not limited to standard newsprint, high bright newsprint, directory paper, book publishing paper as well as printing and writing papers.

DOC's decision follows an initiative by USA manufacturer of printing and writing papers North Pacific Paper Company (Norpac), who petitioned the agency in August a year ago to impose antidumping and countervailing duties. U.S. imports of it from Canada totalled US$1.27 billion (RM5 billion) in 2016, the Commerce Department said.

Norpac, owned by hedge fund One Rock Capital Partners LLC of NY, argues that subsidies in Canada include breaks on electricity rates and unfair financial assistance. Resolute Forest Products Canada and White Birch Paper Canada are the only exception. Association CEO Derek Nighbor said the tariffs are "completely unjustified and represent a costly and losing proposition for workers and paper customers on both sides of the border".

This kind of paper was already hit by preliminary United States countervailing duties announced in January.

A 22.16 per cent anti-dumping duty will come into force five days from now. "We will work closely with Catalyst and the federal government to fight this preliminary decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce and demand that B.C.is treated fairly by its largest trading partner".

Resolute, Catalyst and Montreal-based Kruger Inc. are the mandatory respondents in the countervailing investigation. Canada has won previous disputes with the United States over softwood lumber.

FPAC applauds the swift response issued last night from Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr - they unequivocally defended Canada's interests.

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