NewsAlert: Canada files trade complaint vs US

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This follows a series of similar penalties as the US alleges unfair trade practices from Canada in softwood lumber and Bombardier subsidies.

As a result of today's decision, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits from importers of uncoated groundwood paper from Canada based on these preliminary rates. US newsprint buyers fear that steep import duties of up to 50 percent could increase both Canadian and domestic newsprint prices.

Higgins, joined by fellow U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, expressed concern this week that the measure will lead to added costs for consumers and potential job cuts at large and small newspaper and book publishing operations across NY state and the nation.

The letter didn't include publishers of larger papers, but concerns there are similar. Even if the tariff was only 10 percent, he said, it would represent a seven-figure cost for the company that was unbudgeted and unanticipated.

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". "An escalation in paper prices would push some over the edge, and cost their communities not only the newspaper jobs but the news and advertising support that drives other local jobs". Anything that further reduces demand is a blow to the newspaper industry, say trade associations in Canada and the U.S. But industry officials said that's due primarily to the shift from print to digital media consumption, not to unfair trade practices.

U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo/Niagara Falls, is opposing a preliminary decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce to impose tariffs on paper commonly used in the print industry.

Catalyst does have other export options to mitigate the impact, said industry analyst Kevin Mason with the firm ERA Forest Products Research, but argued the trade action is a self-serving move that will only hurt US newsprint consumers in the long run.

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

The United States announced tariffs Wednesday on 25 Canadian newsprint producers including Catalyst Paper Corp. of B.C.

"Any duties will have a direct and negative impact on USA newspapers, especially those in small cities and towns, and result in job losses in the American printing sector", the ministers said in a statement.

Officials at both One Rock Capital Partners and NORCO did not respond to requests for interviews or statements about the case. The determination follows a petition filed by North Pacific Paper Company.

"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 USA, hurting American consumers.

With almost 400 non-union employees, Norpac is one of Cowlitz County's largest employers.

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