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Canada files trade complaint against Chinese dissolving pulp duties


October 22, 2014
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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The Canadian government has filed a claim with the World Trade Organization regarding the imposition of duties by China against Canadian producers of dissolving pulp (viscose staple fibre grade pulp).

The Canadian government has filed a claim with the World Trade Organization regarding the imposition of duties by China against Canadian producers of dissolving pulp (viscose staple fibre grade pulp).

Both Tembec and Fortress Paper were affected the China’s import duties, which range from 13 to 23%, and requested the federal government intervene. On Oct. 15, Canada made a request of the WTO for consultations with China with respect to Chinese anti-dumping duties levied on imports of cellulose pulp from Canada.

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According to the WTO, Canada’s position is that “the preliminary and final duty measures announced in November 2013 and April 2014 appear to be inconsistent with China’s obligations under various provisions of the Anti-Dumping Agreement and the GATT 1994.” The anti-dumping duties also apply to producers in the United States and Brazil.

“Tembec hopes dialogue between Canada and China will result in a resolution of the dispute in the short term,” underlined Tembec president and CEO James Lopez.

“In Canada, the impact of the duty has put thousands of jobs in the dissolving pulp industry at risk, including over 300 jobs at the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill in Thurso, Que.,” says Chad Wasilenkoff, CEO of Fortress Paper. “Further, the  23.7%  duty  imposed  on  new  dissolving  pulp  mills  in  Canada  has  effectively  frozen expansion in the once-growing industry, including [this company’s] indefinite suspension of the dissolving pulp conversion project at its Fortress Global Cellulose Mill located in Lebel-sur- Quevillon, Que.”

Management at Fortress Paper believes “that China’s domestic dissolving pulp industry, which petitioned  the  investigation  into  dissolving  pulp  imports,  suffered  no  injury  as  a  result  of imported pulp.”

If Canada and China do not reach a settlement in 60 days, Canada could escalate the issue and ask the WTO to adjudicate.