In January, Canadian newsprint producers were hit with an overall tariff of 6.53 per cent.
"Newsprint is the highest expense item behind payroll", News Media Alliance president David Chavern said in a statement on Wednesday. "Some small-market or rural newspapers, with slim margins, will close", Mr. Chavern said.
Resolute FP Canada Inc and Donohue Malbaie Inc, both subsidiaries of Resolute Forest Products Inc, along with privately owned White Birch Paper Canada Co group and related companies Papier Masson WB LP, FF Soucy WB LP and Stadacona WB LP, were assigned a zero percent duty, Commerce said.
U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján, Steve Pearce and Michelle Lujan Grishamurged Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross not to approve additional tariffs on newsprint, which could devastate local papers across New Mexico.
The decision follows a complaint filed by a USA firm, North Pacific Paper Company.
"Frankly I'm not surprised but it is a huge threat to Catalyst as a company and it's also a huge threat to the viability of this mill because when you add 22.1 percent on top of the bottom line, that's a lot for any company to even remotely consider swallowing, so the only option that Catalyst has is to add that to the cost of the paper that they sell to the us and hopefully their purchasers will accept that increase", Mayor Mike Ruttan said. In response, Commerce announced on January 9 that it will impose countervailing duties, meant to counter export subsidies, ranging from below 1 percent to almost 10 percent. The addition of 22.16 per cent in anti-dumping duties raises the company's combined tariff to 28.25 per cent.More news: Google brings free, high-speed Wi-Fi to 56+ locations
This kind of paper was already hit by preliminary U.S. countervailing duties announced in January.
"Today, people working at Catalyst mills in Port Alberni, Powell River and Crofton are receiving the news of yet another unfair decision by the US against B.C.'s newsprint industry, and their communities".
In a news release, Kruger called the duties "unfounded", and denied dumping its products. We will work closely with Catalyst and the federal government to fight this preliminary decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce, and demand that B.C.is treated fairly by its largest trading partner.
The groundwood battle comes amid little sign of progress in renegotiation talks for the North American free-trade agreement and the fight over Canada's shipments of softwood lumber into the United States.
FPAC applauds the swift response issued last night from Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr - they unequivocally defended Canada's interests.