Norpac triumphs in trade battle with Canadian papermakers

12 January, 2018, 20:17 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Norpac triumphs in trade battle with Canadian papermakers

Dennis Darby, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) president and CEO, noted the decision will not only affect pulp and paper producers but also their entire supply chain.

Ross and his department should listen to the overtures of The News Media Alliance, National Newspaper Association and a bipartisan coalition of congressional members who oppose the duties on Canadian paper used to publish American newspapers.

"We're obviously disappointed with this preliminary determination and we're going to continue to defend ourselves against what we believe is an unwarranted trade action", said Catalyst spokeswoman Eduarda Hodgins.

"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". (Norpac), the company that launched the complaint, said it only seeks to "compete on a level playing field" against Canadian mills that get cheap fibre and preferred rates for electricity.

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

Last month, about 1,100 small newspapers jointly filed a letter with Ross that warned "many small-town papers will be at risk of failing" if higher newsprint costs are added to existing problems caused by the movement of many advertisers to online media.

Another anti-dumping duty ruling will come in March from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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The preliminary duty handed down by the U.S. Department of Commerce is 6.09 per cent for Catalyst.

The News Media Alliance, which represents more than 1,100 newspapers nationwide, sent a December 4 letter addressed to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross urging the agency to closely scrutinize Norpac's requests.

Norpac, owned by hedge fund One Rock Capital Partners LLC of NY, said subsidies in Canada include breaks on electricity rates and unfair financial assistance.

The U.S. lumber industry targeted four mandatory respondents from Canada, claiming they benefit from Canadian subsidies and gain from dumping softwood into the United States: Resolute and three B.C. -based producers - West Fraser Timber Co.

"While we understand the concerns recently surfaced by some newspaper publishers, we strongly disagree with the notion that their industry requires low-cost, government-subsidized, imported newsprint from Canada to sustain its business model", Anneberg wrote. Since then, USA producers' share of the American market has plummeted from 60 percent to 36 percent, the company said.

Norpac is targeting products such as newsprint, directory paper, bookgrade paper and groundwood printing and writing paper.

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