Nfld. & Labrador

Corner Brook Pulp and Paper's tariffs slashed by two thirds

The U.S. Department of Commerce has eased up on planned tariffs on Canadian newsprint, reducing the total duties on Corner Brook Pulp and Paper from about 32 per cent to just under 10 per cent.

Premier Dwight Ball says mill owner hopes International Trade Commission will eliminate duty altogether

Corner Brook Pulp and Paper is in a more competitive situation after punitive tariffs imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce were reduced Thursday. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

The U.S. Department of Commerce has eased up on planned tariffs on Canadian newsprint, reducing the total duties on Corner Brook Pulp and Paper from about 32 per cent to just under 10 per cent.

In January, the mill was hit with an export duty of 9.93 per cent on groundwood paper, followed two months later by a 22 per cent anti-dumping duty, the amounts the department said were necessary to combat what it said was Canadian exporters illegally underpricing paper to undercut U.S. producers.

On Thursday, though, the Department of Commerce revised the numbers downward as a result of its investigations into imports of uncoated groundwood paper from Canada. 

The anti-dumping duty was revised to zero per cent for all but one Canada producer, and Kruger's export duty was lowered slightly, from 9.93 to 9.53 per cent.

Making the case to the ITC

"We were pleased with the decision," Premier Dwight Ball told CBC on Thursday.

"It's obviously a decision that we've been working on and fighting since January. They were preliminary decisions and we fought this and we've called on every friend and colleague that we knew along the way that would help us with this decision."

Ball said Corner Brook Pulp and Paper's owner, Montreal-based Kruger, is in a much more competitive position than it was before the U.S. lowered the duties.

"So Kruger right now and its mill in Corner Brook is well-positioned to actually compete in the newsprint industry and the sales that they would make to the U.S. market," he said.

On Aug. 28, Kruger along with the forestry industry and the province will present their case to the International Trade Commission to have the remaining 9.53 per cent reduced or even eliminated, said the premier.

"This is a decision that we've seen made in the U.S. It was not anything we agreed to at all," said Ball. "We felt that it was unfounded, and so we've made some great progress in getting us to the 9.53 and we have one more step, and that'll be on Aug. 28."

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