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

Council votes to take action on problem property

Mobile home was damaged in Aug. 15 fire

Police dog tracks down counterfeit suspect

Cop vehicle rammed, and pooch steals a chicken dinner

Parking study coming back to Penticton city council

Parking study lays out options to solve parking problems around SOEC

Penticton not an unsafe city, according to RCMP superintendent

RCMP superintendent says statistics are misleading

Penticton Peach takes on a brightly-lit holiday decor

Light Up the Peach generates thousands of dollars in support of hospital expansion

VIDEO: Ex-NASA engineer pranks mail thieves with glitter bomb trap

Package thefts are common this time of year, but YouTuber Mark Rober used his engineering skills

Trump backs off on demand for $5 billion to build a border wall

Congress and President Donald Trump continue to bicker over his demand that lawmakers fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Canadian detained in China, not clear if related to two other detentions

Reports suggest the person is not a diplomat or entrepreneur doing business in China.

Trudeau sees 2019 election as choice between positive Liberals, divisive Tories

Trudeau is drawing much the same battle lines that propelled the Liberals to a come-from-behind victory in 2015

Snowfall warning issued for Coquihalla, Highway 3

Make sure to equip winter tires if travelling

Lightning top Canucks 5-2 in feisty battle

NHL’s No. 1 team too much for Vancouver

UPDATE: Coquihalla reopens between Hope and Merritt

The highway is closed in the northbound lane

FortisBC says you can return to normal gas use following pipeline fire

Utility says increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather have allowed supply to reach normal levels

CSIS collected info on peaceful groups, but only in pursuit of threats: watchdog

Security Intelligence Review Committee says fears unjustified after reviewing evidence, testimony

Most Read