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Catalyst receives good news in SC trade dispute


November 22, 2016
By Cindy Macdonald

The U.S. Department of Commerce has concluded its expedited review of Catalyst Paper with respect to countervailing duties applied to U.S. imports of supercalendered paper from Canada.

The preliminary results find that Catalyst received a negligible (de minimis) amount of subsidies during the applicable period of review and therefore, subject to confirmation in the DOC’s final results, Catalyst’s exports of supercalendered paper into the U.S. market would not be subject to countervailing duties.

“Today’s decision confirms that Catalyst did not receive any material subsidies from the Government of Canada or Province of British Columbia,” said Joe Nemeth, president and CEO.

Catalyst requested the expedited review, which looked specifically at the 2014 period, after the DOC imposed countervailing duties on SC paper imports from Canada in December 2015. Without individually investigating Catalyst, the DOC assigned the company an “all-others” countervailing duties rate of 18.85 per cent, which was based on the weighted average of the rates determined for Port Hawkesbury Paper and Resolute Forest Products.

“The 18.85 per cent “all-others” rate assigned to Catalyst painted an inaccurate picture of our business, and the manufacture and export of our high-quality paper products,” said Nemeth. “Catalyst has paid over $18 million in duties and legal costs since the countervailing duties were imposed. These costs have imposed a burden on Catalyst and our effort to improve our financial performance and competitiveness.”

The DOC’s preliminary results do not take effect until interested parties have had the opportunity to comment and the DOC issues final results, which is scheduled for February 2017.

Catalyst Paper manufactures diverse papers such as coated freesheet, coated one side (C1S), flexible and industrial packaging, coated and uncoated groundwood, newsprint and directory, as well as market pulp.