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Catalyst among newsprint producers slapped with USA countervailing duties

12 January 2018

The move comes in response to a petition filed in August in which the Longview papermaker alleged that Canadian paper manufacturers hold an unfair advantage over domestic producers.

"Today's affirmative decision by the Department of Commerce confirms that Canadian uncoated groundwood papers benefit from significant levels of government subsidies", Norpac CEO Craig Anneberg said in a press release.

But groundwood from Canada is subsidized and being dumped at below market value, according to US manufacturer North Pacific Paper Co., also known as Norpac.

Imports from companies that receive unfair subsidies from their governments in the form of grants, loans, equity infusions, tax breaks, and low-cost production inputs are subject to "countervailing duties" aimed at directly countering those subsidies.

However, Kursman said Norpac is referring to three states where Resolute operates paper mills.

The Commerce Department made its ruling late Tuesday on countervailing duties, saying Canadian producers of uncoated groundwood paper such as newsprint are receiving subsidies. It was not immediately clear Tuesday how much more a metric ton of groundwood Canadian paper will cost.

The U.S. Department of Commerce's Enforcement and Compliance unit within the International Trade Administration is responsible for vigorously enforcing U.S. trade laws and does so through an impartial, transparent process that abides by international law and is based exclusively on factual evidence.

Simply put, newspapers in the Commonwealth can not absorb the additional financial burden this proposed tariff is sure to create.

The News Media Alliance, which represents more than 1,100 newspapers nationwide, sent a December 4 letter addressed to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross urging the agency to closely scrutinize Norpac's requests. The American Forest and Paper Association, a leading group representing the US paper industry, opposes the tariffs. The Post-Star and The Citizen are owned by Lee Enterprises, an Iowa-based media company. At going market rates that newsprint is worth about $84 million. The organizations warned that imposing tariffs on Canadian paper could result in the closure of many small newspapers.

The U.S. 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.

With almost 400 non-union employees, Norpac is one of Cowlitz County's largest employers.

Norpac is targeting products such as newsprint, directory paper, bookgrade paper and groundwood printing and writing paper.

Catalyst among newsprint producers slapped with USA countervailing duties