Canada launches global trade complaint vs U.S. over use of duties — NewsAlert


"It's a big deal if it happens", said Lisa Hills, executive director of the Minnesota Newspaper Association, a trade group that represents about 320 daily and weekly newspaper members.

The preliminary duty handed down by the U.S. Department of Commerce is 6.09 per cent for Catalyst.

The United States announced tariffs Wednesday on 25 Canadian newsprint producers including Catalyst Paper Corp. of B.C.

Resolute faces a preliminary duty of 4.42% while the Catalyst Paper duty is 6.09%. The revised softwood duties took effect on January 3, 2018, after preliminary tariffs that were set as high as 30.88 per cent.

It's the third time the USA has slapped duties on Resolute. The countervailing newsprint duty is expected to result in another $45 million a year in deposits.

"Today's preliminary decision allows US producers to receive relief from the market-distorting effects of potential government subsidies while taking into account the need to keep groundwood paper prices affordable for domestic consumers", said Secretary Ross.

The Canadian complaint alleges that American use of anti-dumping and countervailing duties violate global trade rules.

Canada has launched a wide-ranging attack against USA trade practices in a broad worldwide complaint over American use of punitive duties.

The North Pacific Paper Company, or NORPAC, asked the U.S. Department of Commerce to investigate Canadian imports of "uncoated groundwood paper", the grade of paper widely used by newspapers and other commercial publishers.

The company, which is based in Longview, Wash., complained to the Commerce Department in August that USA paper makers are being hurt by Canadian groundwood. Connecticut-based White Birch Paper Co., which runs three Quebec paper mills through its Canadian unit, is the voluntary respondent in both the countervailing and anti-dumping cases.

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By contrast, Norpac has just one mill and is owned by a NY private equity firm.

Kursman said Norpac was alone in its challenge because production margins are "razor thin".

In a joint statement, Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, said they are "deeply disappointed" with the decision.

"Any duties will have a direct and negative impact on USA newspapers, especially those in small cities and towns, and result in job losses in the American printing sector".

"Canada's forest industry sustains good, middle-class jobs and provides economic opportunities for rural and Indigenous communities across our country".

Canada has launched a wide-ranging complaint against the United States over its trade practices.

Many newspapers don't print in their own facilities, so an increase in newsprint prices would also affect the printing industry, which sent a letter last month to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross urging him to reject a tariff on Canadian newsprint because it would further stress the financial viability of newspapers.

Norpac's petitions "are based on incorrect assessments of a changing market and appear to be driven by short-term investment strategies of the company's hedge fund owners", the letter said.

"While we understand the concerns recently surfaced by some newspaper publishers, we strongly disagree with the notion that their industry requires low-cost, government-subsidized, imported newsprint from Canada to sustain its business model", he said. "Maybe we are going to experience plant shutdowns for a few weeks".