Pulp and paper industry in NL braces for Trump administration newsprint duties

Rise against proposed newsprint taxes

NewsAlert: Canada launches global trade complaint vs US over use of duties

Following a period of tension over possibly having more taxes imposed by Canada's neighbours to the south, the U.S. Department of Commerce slapped on preliminary countervailing duties up to 9.93 per cent on Tuesday for uncoated groundwood paper (newsprint) imported from Canada.

A fresh round of unfair tariffs coming out of the U.S. Commerce Department-this time on Canadian-made newsprint-will only hurt workers in an industry already reeling from softwood duties.

The Canadian Government has described the US Government's preliminary countervailing duty ruling on imports of Canadian uncoated groundwood paper as "unjustified".

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The company, which is based in Longview, Wash., complained to the Commerce Department in August that USA paper makers are being hurt by Canadian groundwood. All other Canadian producers weighted an average of 6.53 per cent. It was not immediately clear Tuesday how much more a metric ton of groundwood Canadian paper will cost.

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All sales of newsprint into the USA will cost American newspapers 6% to 6.5% more.

In a bipartisan letter, Stefanik and 35 other members of Congress also urged Commerce to "carefully investigate the issue, and consider the negative impact that any trade remedy would have on the USA newspaper and commercial printing industries, as well as the overall US paper manufacturing industry".

In a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, representatives of more than 1,100 local publications nationwide wrote: "Facing increased costs of newsprint across all suppliers, many small-town papers will be at risk of failing".

Norpac's petitions "are based on incorrect assessments of a changing market and appear to be driven by short-term investment strategies of the company's hedge fund owners", the letter said.

"We've seen papers like La Presse move to full digital, and if the cost of newsprint goes up, it's one of those factors that's going to accelerate a move to digital", said John Hinds, CEO of News Media Canada.

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Canadian newsprint producers have lower profit margins and is an industry has been hit hard in the last decade by falling demand for newsprint.

The preceding press release was provided by a company unaffiliated with Printing Impressions.

More than 10 domestic paper mills have closed since 2012, resulting in the loss of approximately 2,150 U.S.jobs, according to Norpac.

But other Canadian exporters have also become the target of countervailing and anti-dumping duties, and the Canadian government announced today that it is now taking it fight against American duties to the World Trade Organization in a kind of omnibus complaint over American duties on both Canadian products, as well as products in other countries. Since then, US producers' share of the American market has plummeted from 60 percent to 36 percent, the company said. The Daily News is printed on paper manufactured at Norpac.

In May 2017, NORCO's 400 nonunion employees received a 10 percent wage cut and reductions in retirement benefits. (Norpac), the company that launched the complaint, said it only seeks to "compete on a level playing field" against Canadian mills that get cheap fibre and preferred rates for electricity.

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