Norpac triumphs in trade battle with Canadian papermakers

Rise against proposed newsprint taxes

Canada launches global trade complaint against US

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

"What the USA uncoated groundwood papers industry wants is a level playing field, and this decision is an important step forward for American producers, workers and their families that have been the victims of unfair Canadian trade practices for too long".

Duties have already come down on Canadian softwood lumber and Bombardier subsidies.

The U.S. Department of Commerce on Tuesday handed down preliminary tariffs on uncoated groundwood paper exported from Canada after concluding that producers in the neighboring country had received government subsidies ranging from 4 to almost 10 percent.

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.

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.

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

In sharp contrast to US publishers' warnings of potential devastation for small-town newspapers, Mr. Anneberg estimates that the impact of the Commerce Department's countervailing ruling would be less than 5 cents (U.S.) for the average printed newspaper - "a small price to pay to preserve American manufacturing jobs". We are local businesses.

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In the longer term, however, Mason forecasts that the industry will face tough times due to dropping demand that will likely be sped along by higher prices for its customers, largely struggling USA newspaper publishers.

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

It has asked the World Trade Organization to examine the use of duties in the United States, alleging that they violate global law for five reasons.

Last month, about 1,100 small newspapers jointly filed a letter with Ross that warned "many small-town papers will be at risk of failing" if higher newsprint costs are added to existing problems caused by the movement of many advertisers to online media.

"Manufacturers are strong proponents of free and fair trade and are concerned that this new tariff barrier will affect Canada's trading relationship with its most important partner, the United States", he said, adding that the duties will also drive up the prices of newsprint up in the US, hurting American consumers. Ltd., Canfor Corp. and Tolko Industries Ltd.

The Commerce Department determined that duties would range from 4.42 to 9.93 per cent.

Anneberg said the company estimates the duties would increase the cost to produce the average printed newspaper by less than 5 cents per copy. Quebec's Resolute and Kruger face duties of 4.4 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, and all other producers in Canada face duties of 6.5 per cent.

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