U.S. Imposes Countervailing Duties on Canadian Glossy Paper in Preliminary Ruling
The Coalition for Fair Paper Imports—U.S.-based companies Madison Paper and Verso Corporation—petitioned the government in February 2015 and asked it to impose countervailing duties on imports of supercalendered paper from Canadian paper producers Port Hawkesbury Paper, Resolute Forest Products, Irving Paper, and Catalyst Paper.
The petition was also supported by the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, which represents workers at Madison Paper Industries mill in Madison, Maine.
The coalition alleged that Canadian supercalendered paper producers are subsidized by the Canadian federal and provincial governments. Supercalendered paper is glossy paper used in retail catalogues, flyers and magazines.
“Catalyst rejects the allegation that we’ve received government subsidies, and we’re confident a full and fair investigation would confirm this,” said Joe Nemeth, the company’s CEO. “We will continue to work with the Canadian federal and provincial governments, and we will seek an expedited review of our case by the Department of Commerce.”
According to Nemeth, the DOC refused to examine each paper company individually in its investigation. The U.S. agency examined Port Hawkesbury Paper and Resolute Forest Products, and assigned each company a rate of 20.33 percent and 2.04 percent respectively, but did not investigate Catalyst Paper or Irving Paper. Instead, the DOC assigned Catalyst and Irving an “all-others rate” of 11.19 percent which is equal to the average of the rates that the DOC assigned to the other two companies.
A final determination of the countervailing duty will be rendered on October 13, 2015. The Commerce Department’s final order is expected in early December 2015.
In 2014, imports of supercalendered paper from Canada were valued at an estimated $868.4 million.