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Canada hit with more groundwood paper duties


March 15, 2018
By P&PC Staff

Mar. 15, 2018 – The American government is hitting the Canadian forestry industry with more anti-dumping duties, upholding counterveiling duties on Canadian uncoated groundwood paper, or newsprint.

The United States Department of Commerce said in a statement that a preliminary investigation found Canadian exporters underpriced uncoated groundwood paper by between 0 and 22.16 per cent and intends to collect cash corresponding to those rates, The Canadian Press reports.

“President Trump made it clear from the beginning that we will vigorously administer our trade laws to provide U.S. industry with relief from unfair trade practices,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement.

Canada is the largest exporter of newsprint in the world, dominated by Resolute Forest Products, Kruger and Catalyst Paper Corp. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Canada exported more than C$2.4 billion worth of newsprint paper to the United States in 2016.

“On behalf of the workers in our sector, Forest Products Association of Canada [FPAC] is disappointed in this outcome and strongly believes that these duties are completely unjustified and represent a costly and losing proposition for workers and paper customers on both sides of the border,” said Derek Nighbor, CEO of FPAC.

The newly imposed antidumping duties, in addition to the 9.93 per cent countervailing duties from January’s preliminary decision, brings the total duties for Kruger to 32.09 per cent.

“The company is disappointed with a decision that is not only unfair but also unfounded considering that an investigation would demonstrate clearly that Kruger does not engage in dumping activities. Kruger intends to avail itself of all legal options to vigorously defend its position as commerce and the USITC move toward a final determination,” according to a statement from the paper company.

These duties will directly affect three Kruger paper mills, namely its Trois-Rivières and Brompton facilities in Quebec, and its Corner Brook Mill in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Meanwhile Catalyst Paper is now facing combined duties of 28.25 per cent.

“People working at Catalyst mills in Port Alberni, Powell River and Crofton are receiving the news of yet another unfair decision by the U.S. against B.C.’s newsprint industry, and their communities.

“B.C. is extremely disappointed that the current U.S. administration has, once again, made the decision to impose unfair tariffs, this time on B.C. newsprint producers,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology.