Officials at Catalyst Paper are pleased that high duties on its products imported into the U.S. have been dropped. (File photo)

American duties against Catalyst Paper dropped

Catalyst’s paper products determined not to harm U.S. industry

Catalyst Paper and other Canadian newsprint makers are off the hook for substantial American tariffs.

On Aug. 29, the U.S. International Trade Commission overturned duties imposed on some Canadian newsprint, stating that it found that imports of the paper products do not injure U.S. industry.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Commerce Department had decided to impose anti-dumping and countervailing duties totalling 20.26 per cent on Catalyst Paper’s exports of uncoated groundwood paper, used in the production of paper products such as newspapers, flyers and catalogues, to the U.S.

But the ITC’s vote overrules the findings of the Commerce Department.

Catalyst owns the Crofton pulp and paper mill, which employs more than 500 people, and two other mills in Port Alberni and Powell River on Vancouver Island.

Other Canadian producers, including Resolute Forest Product and Kruger Inc., were also facing duties on their newsprint products heading to markets in the U.S.

RELATED STORY: CATALYST PAPER WILL FIGHT PUNITIVE DUTIES FROM THE U.S.

The duties came about after Washington-based North Pacific Paper Co. complained that Canada was dumping newsprint into the American market and unfairly subsidizing its industry at home.

Catalyst president and CEO New Dwyer said he’s “very pleased” with the unanimous ruling from the ITC.

“We are a global exporter of pulp and paper products and we play by the rules,” he said.

“The facts show that the petitioner’s allegation that Catalyst Paper has harmed the U.S. newsprint industry is false. Due to the negative injury determination, these duties no longer apply after the ITC publishes its final determination at the end of September, and the cash deposits collected to date will be refunded to the company.”

But Dwyer said the industry continues to face a challenging operating environment stemming from increasing costs and declining demand.

RELATED STORY: FEAR NEW DUTIES COULD PRICE CATALYST’S MILLS OUT OF BUSINESS

“Today’s ruling is a welcome break for Catalyst, our customers, employees, and the communities where we operate,” he said.

“Catalyst would like to recognize and thank Premier John Horgan and his government, along with [federal] Minister [Chrystia] Freeland and the Government of Canada, as well as our local mayors, Unifor, and the PPWC for their defence of our company, our employees and our operating communities in this costly trade dispute.”

Fearing the possible impacts of the tariffs on Catalyst’s operations, the province decided to act last month to ensure the company’s pension plans were protected.

RELATED STORY: PROVINCE STEPS IN TO PROTECT CATALYST’S PENSION PLAN

Premier Horgan and Bruce Ralston, minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, issued a joint statement on Aug. 29 after the decision by the ITC.

“People who work at Catalyst on Vancouver Island, in Powell River and Metro Vancouver can breathe more easily today,” the statement said.

“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.”

The statement said that although this case is now over and the duties paid so far will be refunded, the damage it has inflicted on Catalyst and other Canadian producers is disturbing.

“Our government, the federal government, local mayors and councils, the company and workers stood together to protect the jobs and economy of coastal communities, and we will continue to vigorously defend B.C. against future unfair U.S. litigation,” the statement said.

“The governments of B.C. and Canada demonstrated clearly during the investigation that they had not been subsidizing Catalyst’s operations, and we’re satisfied by today’s decision by the ITC.”

It’s not the first time Catalyst has had duties imposed on it by the U.S. Department of Commerce that had to be eventually rescinded.

In November, 2016, the DOC decided after a review that Catalyst’s exports of supercalendered paper into the U.S. market would not be subject to countervailing duties because the company received a negligible amount of subsidies during the applicable period of review.

Catalyst requested the review, which looked specifically at its production during 2014, after the DOC imposed countervailing duties on imports of supercalendered paper from Canada in December, 2015.

Catalyst was saddled with a countervailing duties rate of 18.85 per cent, and paid more than $18 million in duties and legal costs before the countervailing duties on the company were suspended.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UPDATE: Kelowna man given 4 year sentence after creating pimp operation on dating site

In court the details of how Simon Rypiak lured 4 women into prostitution revealed

Recovering Kelowna addict rises above her past

Victimized by systems suppose to help, a woman tries to fix her life

Plugged in: Kelowna teen thriving with professional eSports U.S. team

Russel Van Dulken turned his love and skills of gaming into a career

Okanagan College names new fundraising director

Helen Jackman will join the college as executive director of the Okanagan College Foundation and director of advancement

Olympian Andi Naude retires from freestyle skiing

Penticton native skied in 62 World Cup single and dual moguls events in her career

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

Okanagan experience for the Blue Man Group

The world tour of the Blue Man Group came to Penticton this week for two shows.

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Federal funding helps South Okanagan women safely leave sex trade

The SAFE eXiting from the Sex Trade program helps women

Most Read