Imported Canadian Newsprint Tariffs Are Reduced, But Not Eliminated, by Department of Commerce
“This onerous U.S. trade action directly affects the competitiveness of our business,” he added. “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.”
On the other end of the spectrum, Longview, Wash.-based North Pacific Paper Co. (NORPAC) - the single U.S. newsprint producer to file the complaint - was satisfied with the ruling. "As established by the [Commerce] Department’s final determination, Canadian producers have been engaged in unfair trade practices, which harm American workers and cause material injury to our industry," noted NORPAC CEO Craig Anneberg. "While we are pleased that our allegations of dumping and subsidization have been confirmed, we are disappointed that the Department of Commerce did not impose antidumping duty deposits on companies that were not investigated, instead setting the deposit rate for 'all others' at zero," Anneberg added.
NORPAC is owned by a New York-based hedge fund. It is one of five newsprint paper mills that still remain in the United States. Since 2012, more than 10 paper mills have reportedly closed, eliminating uncoated groundwood paper capacity by nearly 70%.
A coalition called STOPP (Stop Tariffs on Printers and Publishers), which was formed in opposition to the tariffs, argues that the drop in newsprint paper capacity has been driven by a drop in demand, largely due to declining printed newspaper readership rates as a result of digital alternatives - but not by "subsidized" Canadian imported paper. Since 2007, 78 paper machines have been closed or converted, according to the coalition, eliminating more than 10 million metric tons from industry production capacity.
ITC Still Could Rule to Drop the Newsprint Tariffs
Now the case will move to the International Trade Commission (ITC), which is expected to vote on the paper tariffs on Aug. 29 and make its decision public on Sept. 17. It could vote to keep the tariffs in place or overturn them completely.