Catalyst Paper faces ‘punitive’ 20.26 per cent U.S. tariff

Forest company disapointed with decision

  • Aug. 3, 2018 9:17 a.m.

Catalyst Paper, which owns three pulp and paper mills on Vancouver Island, is disappointed with American tariffs on its products announced on Aug. 2.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s final determination sets Catalyst’s countervailing duty rate at 3.38 per cent, and anti-dumping duty rate at 16.88 per cent on its exports of uncoated groundwood paper to the U.S., along with other Canadian producers.

While the duties were reduced from the preliminary rates, the combined duties on Catalyst’s exports total a significant 20.26 per cent.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s final determination follows its announcement on Jan. 9 that required Catalyst to pay a 6.09 per cent countervailing duty deposit, and its decision on March 14 to impose a 22.16 per cent anti-dumping duty deposit.

“While not surprised, we’re disappointed with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision to keep these unwarranted duties in place, albeit at a lower rate,” says Ned Dwyer, Catalyst’s president and CEO.

“These duties are punitive and without merit. The allegation that we are subsidized and engage in dumping activities is wrong and does not adhere to the facts.”

RELATED ARTICLE: CATALYST DISAPPOINTED WITH ANTI-DUMPING DUTY

Dwyer said the U.S. trade action directly affects the competitiveness of Catalyst, which sells much of its products to American markets.

“While our mills have provided newsprint to the U.S. for more than 100 years, we’re now changing our customer base to minimize the impact of these duties because of one U.S. mill, but this isn’t sustainable over the long-term,” he said.

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

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

Following the decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. International Trade Commission will consider whether imports of uncoated groundwood paper from Canada have injured the U.S. industry, as was alleged in the petition by only one mill, North Pacific Paper Company, located in Longview, Washington.

If the ITC reaches an affirmative determination at the end of August, the DOC is expected to issue a final order on the case in mid- September.

“We would like to see the ITC pursue an objective evaluation of the facts and eliminate these egregious duties before they do further harm to our U.S. customers,” Dwyer said.

Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, said B.C. is very frustrated and concerned about the continued effect these unwarranted punitive duties will have on B.C.’s forest sector and on the families in communities across B.C. whose livelihoods rely on it.

“These unfair U.S. duties, while lower than the preliminary duties of 28.25 per cent, are affecting companies like Catalyst that support about 6,500 jobs in the province,” he said.

“We are committed to fighting for workers, industry and our communities, and to maintaining B.C.’s strong exports of pulp and paper. Our government and the Government of Canada have repeatedly raised this issue with our U.S. counterparts in hopes that common sense will prevail. Although these duties have been confirmed by the Department of Commerce, we know there has been an unprecedented level of opposition from across the U.S. political spectrum and industry.”

Ralston said the B.C. government urges the International Trade Commission to do what is right and determine that the U.S. industry has not been injured, and overturn the decision.

“Should the ITC ignore all evidence before it and find that U.S. industry has been injured in this case, we will work with the Government of Canada to pursue all appeals,” he said.

In 2015, Catalyst was saddled with a countervailing duties rate of 18.85 per cent when the U.S. imposed tariffs on imports of supercalendered paper from Canada, 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

Caledonia Kermode basketball team holds first-ever Men’s Health Night fundraiser

Approximately $250 was raised during the senior boys’ home opener game

Here are the top earners at Coast Mountains School District

Audited financial report released for 2018/2019 fiscal year

Skeena Voices | The wild path

Courtenay Crucil is a nature-based therapist and herbalist who helps people with the earth in mind

Northwest B.C. physician receives Medal of Good Citizenship Award

Dr. Peter Newbery was one of 18 people in B.C. to get provincial recognition

Terrace RCMP search for wanted man

The public is not believed to be at risk

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Coastal GasLink receives first delivery of pipe sections

Company expects to begin welding and pipe laying in 2020

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

B.C. Transit finds 28 used fareboxes online, saves $300,000

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Most Read