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

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

"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.

The new duties will range from 4 to 10 percent - still a substantial bite that will be widely felt, since Canada is the world's largest exporter of the uncoated groundwood paper used to produce newspapers, books and other paper goods, with USA imports of $1.27 billion in 2016.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says government subsidies given to Canadian paper companies give them an unfair advantage over USA competitors.

The tariff is as high as 9.93 per cent for Kruger Inc., which is based in Quebec.

It's the third time the United States has slapped duties on Resolute.

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 United States. The countervailing newsprint duty is expected to result in another $45 million a year in deposits.

Ross and his department should listen to the overtures of The News Media Alliance, National Newspaper Association and a bipartisan coalition of congressional members who oppose the duties on Canadian paper used to publish American newspapers.

The case stems from the complaint of a single US paper mill, Washington-state-based North Pacific Paper Co., owned by a hedge fund that appears to be seeking short-term gains at the expense of others.

Dennis Darby, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) president and CEO, noted the decision will not only affect pulp and paper producers but also their entire supply chain.

"What the USA uncoated groundwood papers industry wants is a level playing field, and this decision is an important step forward", company CEO Craig Anneberg said after Ross made his announcement.

Anneberg said that's a "small price to pay to preserve American manufacturing jobs" in Washington, Mississippi and Georgia.

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He predicted that this will result in more mill closures, and said the decision on duties benefits only Norpac.

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".

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr called the duty rates "unjustified" in a joint statement.

Given its "outlier status", the letter said, "it appears that One Rock Capital Partners may be using the petitions as a means of increasing the short-term value of this one mill, without any regard for the dramatic negative implications for US newspapers in thousands of small cities and towns".

"B.C. lumber producers welcome the Government of Canada's efforts to vigorously defend Canada's interests in trade relations with the U.S.", Susan Yurkovich, president of the BC Lumber Trade Council, said in a press release.

Canada has launched a wide-ranging complaint against the United States over its trade practices. It has asked the World Trade Organization to examine the American use of punitive duties, alleging that they violate worldwide law.

In a December letter, the association's members said that the tariffs would "have a severe, negative impact on the newspaper industry, and ironically, threaten more jobs in the USA than the jobs the petitions claim to protect".

The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) said the duties could be in effect as early as next week.

"This is not really based on sound objective methods", said Neuheimer. "Maybe we are going to experience plant shutdowns for a few weeks".


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