US goes ahead with tax on Canadian newsprint

Marco Green
August 6, 2018

The U.S. Department of Commerce has decreased tariffs it is imposing against most Canadian newsprint in its final ruling.

Scores of politicians have pressed the independent agency to quash the duties to save newsprint mills and industry jobs, Laflamme said.

The move comes after several American businesses complained the tax on Canadian newsprint would threaten the already-struggling American newspaper industry.

The News Media Alliance, a newspaper trade group, has sought to end the tariff and said Thursday's decision was "a step in the right direction" but didn't go far enough to limit the damage to newspapers facing higher costs for paper.

The U.S. International Trade Commission is slated to decide in mid-September whether the complainant, Washington-based North Pacific Paper Co., suffered harm.

The Trump administration on Thursday said that it would implement a lower tariff on Canadian newsprint than initially announced but would also impose tariffs on some of the country's paper companies.

"I will now use my influence as the Senate minority Leader to push the United States International Trade Commission to lower these unfair tariffs even more".

"This was a complicated and unique case", Ross said in a statement.

The much-anticipated decision from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross lowers the duty to as much as 16.88 percent for ground-wood paper, down from as high as 22.16 percent put in place earlier this year. "The allegation that we are subsidized and engage in dumping activities is wrong and does not adhere to the facts".

Tensions between the two neighbors are rising over the imposition of US duties.

He urged the trade commission to "pursue an objective evaluation of the facts and eliminate these egregious duties before they do further harm to our US customers".

The rate of Montreal-based Kruger, which owns Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Ltd., CVD was lowered slightly to 9.53 per cent but the final rates for Resolute Forest Products, White Birch Paper and other Canadian producers increased.

Resolute's mills in Canada were hit with the countervailing rate of 4.42 per cent in January, but in March, the Commerce Department did not include Resolute on the list of Canadian producers subject to anti-dumping tariffs.

"No one is going to work for free and no one is going to be covering the local stories that need to be told or local government", he said.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Ottawa was disappointed by the final duties.

According to the Commerce Department, the U.S. imported $1.27 billion worth of Canadian newsprint in 2016.

North Pacific issued a statement commending the decision to keep some duties in place. "The department worked hard to address the arguments raised, and I am satisfied that the final determinations appropriately targets bad actors".

The United States has demanded changes to NAFTA that allow it to more freely pursue anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases against its northern and southern neighbors, such as those on groundwood paper and softwood lumber.

Unlike the softwood lumber trade dispute backed by a powerful USA coalition, the newsprint complaint is led by a small producer co-owned by hedge funds that received little support during recent public hearings.

Publishers still want all the tariffs abolished, claiming it is hurting everyone, including United States paper producers.

"These taxes have already caused job losses at newspapers and resulted in less news and information being distributed in local communities".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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