US hits Canadian newsprint producers with initial countervailing duties

An overall tariff of 6.53% levied on about 25 Canadian plants, mostly in Quebec and Ontario.

Making newsprint at Resolute Forest Products’ Baie-Comeau, Que. plant. Photo: Resolute

TORONTO — Newsprint is the latest Canadian product to be hit with preliminary countervailing duties from the US.

The US Department of Commerce slapped an overall tariff of 6.53% on about 25 Canadian plants, mostly in Quebec and Ontario, following an investigation that began in August 2017.

Canada is the largest exporter of newsprint in the world, with a market dominated by Resolute Forest Products, Kruger and Catalyst Paper Corp. of BC.

Resolute faces a preliminary duty of 4.42% while the Catalyst Paper duty is 6.09%. The duty against Kruger is 9.93% and the preliminary penalty against White Birch is 0.65%.

The US Department of Commerce will make another decision on anti-dumping duties in March and the US International Trade Commission will be asked to rule on the two measures in August.

The US government began investigating Canada’s newsprint industry after Washington-based North Pacific Paper Co., complained Canada was dumping newsprint into the American market and unfairly subsidizing its industry at home.

It is the same argument made regarding Canada’s softwood industry, which led to the imposition of both countervailing and anti-dumping duties on most Canadian softwood exports to the US.

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball said in a statement that he is disappointed with the decision to place a countervailing duty on newsprint from Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, a division of Kruger Inc.

Ball said the provincial government will “explore every opportunity” to advocate on behalf of the company and the forestry industry.

“As a government, we have worked vigorously to advocate for local businesses and workers, including Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, against the increased protectionist environment that exists in the United States,” he said.

Resolute Forest Products spokesman Karl Blackburn called the duties “completely unfair and unjustified” and Denis Lebel, the president and CEO of the Quebec Forest Industry Council, labelled them “absolutely unfounded.”

The US Department of Commerce says Canada exported about $ 1.6 billion worth of newsprint to the US in 2016.

The new duties comes as Canada and the US continue to try to negotiate a trade settlement on softwood to replace the deal which expired in 2015. Canada is also seeking relief from the softwood duties in appeals through the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization.


News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016
1 Comment » for US hits Canadian newsprint producers with initial countervailing duties
  1. Kent says:

    So just stop shipping them newsprint for about 30 days. Wait for the printers to start putting pressure on the government to drop the duties. Then wait another 30 days to see what happens. When people stop getting their newspaper and grocery flyers, they’ll get upset. Then the public will demand that the duties be dropped. Cripple their production and things will suddenly start looking up. Sure, it will cost some cash to warehouse all of the paper produced and not sold, but you’ll more than make that up afterwards because you’ll be able to charge a much higher price in the end, thus ending the “dumping” claims. Or you could just sell that paper to Canadian printers at a lower price anyway. (Somebody’s got to pick up the printing work, and if we’re the only ones that can get paper……)

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