Canada launches global trade complaint vs United States over use of duties — NewsAlert

Rise against proposed newsprint taxes

The move comes in response to a petition filed in August in which the Longview papermaker alleged that Canadian paper manufacturers hold an unfair advantage over domestic producers.

The US Department of Commerce slapped an overall preliminary countervailing tariff of 6.53% on about 25 Canadian plants, mostly in Quebec and Ontario, following an investigation that began in August 2017.

"What the US 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".

Imports from companies that receive unfair subsidies from their governments in the form of grants, loans, equity infusions, tax breaks, and low-cost production inputs are subject to "countervailing duties" aimed at directly countering those subsidies.

The viability of local newspapers, including the one that you are reading now, is being challenged by an unnecessary tariff on the import of uncoated groundwood paper from Canada - the type that is used to print this newspaper and others across Ohio. 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.

"There will be no immediate change to our production", he said Tuesday.

The Canadian government has since filed a complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over US trade remedy measures, requesting WTO consultations with the United States with respect to anti-dumping and countervailing duty proceedings. It also accuses the USA of using a trade-panel voting system that's biased against foreigners.

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The preliminary countervailing duties against Canadian newsprint producers come as Canada and the United States remain deadlocked during talks to renegotiate the North American free-trade agreement and amid the prolonged fight over softwood lumber.

The complaint was filed last month but was released Wednesday.

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. At going market rates that newsprint is worth about $84 million.

The Trump administration has slapped new tariffs as high as ten percent on Canadian paper. We are local businesses.

Anneberg said the company estimates the duties would increase the cost to produce the average printed newspaper by less than 5 cents per copy.

If fully implemented, the resulting hardship could lead to thousands of job losses in the newspaper industry. Since then, USA producers' share of the American market has plummeted from 60 percent to 36 percent, the company said. "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".

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