United States publishers sound alarm over Canadian newsprint tariffs

United States publishers sound alarm over Canadian newsprint tariffs

The U.S. Commerce Department said on Tuesday it had made a preliminary finding that some imports from Canada of uncoated groundwood paper used in newsprint were dumped, and imposed preliminary duties of up to 22.16 percent.

Canada's government said it was "disappointed" by the new USA measure. In response, Commerce announced on January 9 that it will impose countervailing duties, meant to counter export subsidies, ranging from below 1 percent to almost 10 percent.

In January, the Commerce Department imposed import duties on Canadian groundwood paper, a kind of newsprint used by newspapers across the country, and are now considering additional tariffs.

Uncoated groundwood paper includes newsprint, as well as book publishing, printing and writing papers.

"We have suspected that some Canadian producers were dumping uncoated groundwood papers in the USA markets - this has now been confirmed", he said from Washington State. "Some small-market or rural newspapers, with slim margins, will close", Mr. Chavern said.

That leaves Catalyst paying duties of 28 per cent on its exports to the USA, which company CEO Ned Dwyer characterized as "a threat to our competitiveness and the sustainability of our business".

Resolute FP Canada Inc and Donohue Malbaie Inc, both subsidiaries of Resolute Forest Products Inc, along with privately owned White Birch Paper Canada Co group and related companies Papier Masson WB LP, FF Soucy WB LP and Stadacona WB LP, were assigned a zero percent duty, Commerce said.

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The decision follows a complaint filed by a USA firm, North Pacific Paper Company. In January, preliminary countervailing duties were already imposed on the same paper grades.

"Today, people working at Catalyst mills in Port Alberni, Powell River and Crofton are receiving the news of yet another unfair decision by the US against B.C.'s newsprint industry, and their communities".

The commerce department's investigation into the alleged dumping began in August 2017, and an International Trade Commission investigation began the following month. The company is anxious about the impact, notably at its mill in Corner Brook, Nfld., and two of its plants in Quebec (Brompton and Trois-Rivières).

All of this havoc has been caused by one company in the paper industry filing a trade remedy case alleging unfair trade practices by Canada. And Bruce Ralston, B.C.'s Jobs and Trade Minister, said he will work with Catalyst and Ottawa to help combat the "unfair tariffs". "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", they said in a joint release.

President Donald Trump has forced a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, arguing that it is a bad deal for the United States.

The US announcement came as Canada's Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, was in Washington to discuss bilateral trade relations.