By Cindy Macdonald
Resolute Forest Products has announced a temporary closure of its Kenogami, Que., supercalendered paper mill from June 23 to July 4, 2016. The company says the 11 days of down time is in large part attributable “to the ongoing market disruption” caused by provincial and federal government support of the Port Hawkesbury Paper mill in Nova Scotia.
The down time at Kenogami will affect 184 employees at the operation.
“In light of today’s announcement, I reach out again to Canadian International Trade Minister Freeland urging her to address the competitive disadvantage in which supercalendered manufacturers, such as Resolute, find themselves today,” said Richard Garneau, president and CEO. “We are in the untenable position of dealing with a dual set of consequences: unfair government support of Port Hawkesbury here in Canada, and retaliatory, protectionist actions by U.S. authorities.”
Resolute has previously raised concerns with government officials that special measures of support discriminated in favor of Port Hawkesbury Paper and resulted, among other damages, in the permanent closure of Resolute’s Laurentide paper mill in the fall of 2014.
Late last year, Resolute filed a Notice of Arbitration with the Canadian federal government under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), relating to the Port Hawkesbury situation.
Commenting on the U.S. duty on supercalendered paper imported from Canada, Garneau said: “At least as far as the U.S. part of the problem is concerned, it is essential that Canada ensure the formation of a fair and equitable Chapter 19 Panel under NAFTA to rectify the injustice visited upon Resolute by the U.S. Department of Commerce.”
The duty on SC paper exports from Canada to the United States also applies to Port Hawkesbury Paper, Irving Paper and Catalyst Paper.