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

Student rangers sought for Terrace

Young adults interested in student ranger program have until Feb. 24 to apply

Skeena Sawmills audit good overall, but fault found in tree planting

Violation only issue discovered in Forest Practices Board report

DoK delays third reading of TSW land rezoning

Decision on hold until another public hearing is held

Is Terrace prepared for a rail disaster?

Council asked to review surge in dangerous goods movement: “I live in the blast zone,” says resident

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

B.C. woman planned to donate a kidney to her husband, then found out she has cancer

Richard Stuart needs a kidney, his wife Tracy has been diagnosed with cancer

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Most Read