The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on August 29 unanimously voted to block tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on Canadian imports of uncoated groundwood paper, or newsprint, finding the imports aren’t harming the U.S. industry.
Earlier this year the U.S. Commerce Department imposed anti-dumping and countervailing duties on newsprint made in Canada in response to a petition filed by North Pacific Paper Company (NORPAC) that alleged it was facing injury from unfair trade practices by Canada.
Related: U.S. revises tariff rates for Canadian newsprint
The August ruling terminates and refunds the anti-dumping and countervailing duties to all affected Canadian producers.
The ITC disagreed with those allegations and eliminated the duties, ruling that U.S. newsprint producers were not materially harmed by imports from Canada. In contrast, the increase in newsprint costs resulting from the DOC imposed duties was harming printers, publishers, newspapers, technology suppliers and ultimately consumers in the value chain. Local papers scaled back reporting and reduce the number of editions they publish, and advertising inserts, often used by small businesses, were repressed.
“People who work at Catalyst on Vancouver Island, in Powell River and Metro Vancouver can breathe more easily today. Today’s ruling means that Catalyst will no longer have to pay these debilitating, unfair duties. We’re very pleased with the outcome and we’re glad the ITC has made the right decision based on the evidence before it. This is good news for people who work in the newsprint industry,” according to a joint statement from B.C. Premier John Horgan and Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology.
Forest Products Association of Canada CEO Derek Nighbor says the forest products industry association is “very pleased” by the decision. “The duties that were imposed had a negative impact on newspapers, printers, book publishers and a range of other industries. These discriminatory tariffs also threatened jobs and resulted in unnecessary increased costs for business and consumers, not only in Canada but in the U.S. as well. Common sense has prevailed, and this is a positive Canada-U.S. trade outcome during a period that has been challenging,” he says.
— With files from The Associated Press
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