The five Commissioners unanimously held that imports from Canada of uncoated sawn paper used for newspapers, commercial printing and book publishing were not prejudicial to the US industry.
The US Department of Commerce imposed anti-dumping and countervailing duties at various levels earlier this year on Canadian producers , including Resolute Forest Products, Catalyst Paper, Kruger and White Birch Paper.
The vote of the US Trade Commission (USITC) overrides Commerce’s findings.
The outcome of the vote is good news for Resolute, the largest producer of newsprint in the world.
“To get a five to zero result, a unanimous vote finding no fault, is a monumental victory for our efforts,” said company spokesman Seth Kursman.
I’m just happy […] It’s a big day for the American consumer, it’s a great day for press freedom.
Seth Kursman, Resolute spokesperson
American newspapers campaigned to lift the fees, which had increased their basic expenses and forced some of them to lay off workers.
The United States calculates that the value of imports from Canada of uncoated sawdust paper used for newspapers, commercial printing and book publishing amounted to US $ 1.21 billion. last year.
Chief Executive Officer of the US News Media Alliance press group David Chavern applauded the decision.
“The rates would have been unsustainable for newspapers, other printers, publishers and printers. Fortunately, our voice was heard at the hearing last month and they made the right decision today by reversing these harmful tariffs, “he said in a statement.
The group had pointed out in recent months that the shift from printing to digital platforms was leading to a decline in demand for newsprint, not imports from Canada.
Norpac says he’s disappointed
Washington has begun investigating the Canadian newsprint industry after North Pacific Paper (Norpac), a Washington-based firm of about 260 workers owned by the New York-based One Rock Capital Partners fund, is a complaint that Canada was unfairly subsidizing its industry in this country.
Norpac chief executive Craig Anneberg said in a statement that the company did not agree with the decision and would evaluate its options when the detailed written determination will be issued in a few weeks.
“We are very disappointed with the USITC’s negative determination, as the record clearly shows that the domestic industry has suffered significant injury from heavy subsidized imports from Canada. ”
The company’s argument is the same with respect to the Canadian softwood lumber industry, which has resulted in the imposition of countervailing and anti-dumping duties on most Canadian softwood exports to the United States.
Mr. Kursman pointed out that the cancellation of duties meant that Resolute would recover millions of dollars in deposits and avoid tens of millions of dollars in future payments.
He added that the campaign to end the rights was supported by 174 US Congressmen and forest industry groups in the United States.
The Unifor union, which represents workers in several factories in Quebec who were affected by the tariffs, also welcomed the decision of the USITC.
“This logic of charging fares is typical of [US President] Donald Trump’s approach. These unnecessary trade wars are costly and they hurt workers on both sides of the border, “said Unifor Quebec director Renaud Gagné.
Today’s decision is to be welcomed and we hope it will serve as a lesson for the US government in its future attempts to impose tariffs.
Renaud Gagné, Quebec director of Unifor
The end of uncoated lumber duties follows the cancellation in July of US tariffs on supercalendered paper from Canada in 2015.
In January, the United States Commission on International Trade canceled nearly 300% of Bombardier C Series aircraft charges, following a lawsuit filed by rival Boeing. This range of aircraft was eventually sold to Airbus, which renamed it A220.