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Trade dispute involving newsprint causing heartburn for many U.S. newspapers, printers

Trade dispute involving newsprint causing heartburn for many U.S. newspapers, printers

Catalyst Paper, with mills in Crofton and Port Alberni, hit with a 6.09 per cent countervailing duty from the United States.

In the longer term, however, Mason forecasts that the industry will face tough times due to dropping demand that will likely be sped along by higher prices for its customers, largely struggling US newspaper publishers.

But groundwood from Canada is subsidized and being dumped at below market value, according to US manufacturer North Pacific Paper Co., also known as Norpac.

"What the United States uncoated groundwood papers industry wants is a level playing field, and this decision is an important step forward for American producers, workers and their families that have been the victims of unfair Canadian trade practices for too long", stated Norpac chief executive Craig Anneberg.

The Canadian government has since filed a complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over US trade remedy measures, requesting WTO consultations with the United States with respect to anti-dumping and countervailing duty proceedings. The tariffs are expected to take effect within one week.

Norpac has been struggling to stay profitable in the face of shrinking newsprint and paper markets, and it is under pressure to cut costs from its new owners, One Rock Capital.

"Norpac has a world-class facility that can compete with anyone around the world, but we need to be able to compete on a level playing field". The estimate we have seen is that this could threaten up to 600,000 jobs in the U.S.

Mike Klingensmith, publisher of the Star Tribune, said Minnesota's largest newspaper spends about $10 million annually on newsprint.

Oil prices extend gains after U.S. production drop
EIA expects global inventories to increase by about 0.2 million b/d in 2018 and by about 0.3 million b/d in 2019. Demand is expected to climb an additional 340,000 bpd in 2019 to 20.65 million bpd, the agency said.

"Any duties will have a direct and negative impact on U.S. newspapers, especially those in small cities and towns, and result in job losses in the American printing sector", the ministers said in a statement.

Resolute and Catalyst are the two mandatory respondents in the anti-dumping probe.

The complaint was released Wednesday after being filed last month.

The American government's imposition of duties on exports of Canadian newsprint will only accelerate the transition from print to digital and threaten thousands of USA jobs, says North America's largest newsprint producer.

Norpac is targeting products such as newsprint, directory paper, bookgrade paper and groundwood printing and writing paper. Canada is also seeking relief from the softwood duties in appeals through the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization.

The Commerce Department slapped final softwood duties on West Fraser that totalled 23.56 per cent; Tolko 22.07 per cent; Canfor 20.52 per cent; Resolute 17.90 per cent; and voluntary respondent J.D. Irving Ltd. of New Brunswick 9.38 per cent.

A Commerce investigation found that Canadian uncoated groundwood paper - the same product used to print newspapers - was subsidized by an average of 6.53 percent, Norpac said Tuesday.

At the time, company CEO Craig Anneberg said in published reports that NORCO would use all the tools at its disposal under USA trade law to address and counteract the dumped and subsidized imports from Canada. The revised softwood duties took effect on January 3, 2018, after preliminary tariffs that were set as high as 30.88 per cent.


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