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Uncoated Groundwood Paper Duties

Overview

Recent anti-dumping and countervailing petitions have led to sharp increases in material costs through additional duties placed on certain uncoated groundwood paper from Canada. These petitions have come from a sole petitioner, North Pacific Paper Co, owned by New York hedge fund One Rock Capital Partners, and are opposed by large swaths of the printing and publishing industries1.

Current Status

On August 29th, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) announced its decision, in a unanimous 5-0 vote, that "uncoated groundwood paper from Canada does not injure U.S. industry". By reaching this decision, "no antidumping or countervailing duty orders will be issued on imports of (uncoated groundwood paper) from Canada", per USITC guidance.

In mid-October, the USITC posted the public version of its full report detailing its negative injury findings.

After the final report was made available to the public, NORPAC posted a "Notice of Intent to Commence Judicial Review", on October 17. This is the first step in a potentially lengthy process for seeking judicial review of the US ITC's decision. At this point, the notice itself does not require NORPAC to continue to pursue an appeal but leaves the option open should they decide to do so. As part of that process, the challenger of the US ITC decision has the right to choose the venue in which the review takes place. Either the Court of International Trade (CIT) or a NAFTA review panel. In their Notice of Intent, NORPAC said they would seek judicial review through the CIT.



Previous Updates

On August 2nd, 2018, the Dept. of Commerce announced their affirmative conclusion in the investigations into anti-dumping and countervailing of uncoated groundwood paper from Canada. As part of their final determination, the Dept. of Commerce also announced revised duty rates based on their findings, listed below. The next step in the process is an announcement of a final determination by the U.S. International Trade Commission, which is expected by September 17, 2018. If the ITC finds in the affirmative, an Issuance of Orders would occur by September 24, 2018.

Timeline

Event Countervailing Duties Anti-Dumping Duties
Petitions Filed August 9, 2017 Augus 9, 2017
DOC Initiation Date August 29, 2017 August 29, 2017
ITC Prelminary Determinations September 23, 2017 September 23, 2017
DOC Prelminary Determinations Janurary 8, 2018 March 12, 2018
DOC Final Determinations August 1, 2018 August 1, 2018
US ITC Final Vote August 29, 2018 August 29, 2018
Issuance of Orders September 24, 2018 September 24, 2018
USITC Report Available by October 8, 2018 by October 8, 2018
Source: U.S. Commerce Department | DOC = U.S. Dept. of Commerce | ITC = U.S. International Trade Commission

 


Anti-Dumping Duties

Dumping is a trade practice where a foreign company exports a product at a price either below the price it charges in their home market or below fair market value. To combat this, a country may impose an "anti-dumping duty" on a foreign company to bring their price up to fair market value2. By increasing the cost of the foreign company's product, a domestic based company producing the same product would, potentially, be in a better position to compete. Anti-dumping duties are company specific.

Country Exporter/Producer Dumping Rate - Prelim Dumping Rate - Final (DOC)
Canada Catalyst Paper Corporation3 22.6% 16.8%
Resolute FP Canada, Inc.4 0.00% 0.00%
White Burch Paper Canada Company5 0.00% 0.00%
All Others 22.16% 0.00%
Sources: U.S. Commerce Department (Prelim) | U.S. Commerce Department (Final) | DOC = U.S. Dept. of Commerce

 


Countervailing Duties

Countervailing duties may be imposed by a country when an investigation determines that a foreign government is subsidizing (or countervailing) exports in a given industry, allowing foreign companies to sell goods below the cost of domestic companies. The process for imposing countervailing duties is established through World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, which also allows for a country to launch its own investigation and impose duties per the framework established by the WTO. Countervailing duties are country specific.

Country Exporter/Producer Subsidy Rate - Prelim Subsidy Rate - Final (DOC)
Canada Catalyst Paper Corporation3 6.09% 3.38%
Resolute FP Canada, Inc.4 4.42% 9.81%
White Burch Paper Canada Company5 0.65% (de minimis) 0.82% (de minimis)
Kruger Trois-Rivieres L.P.6 9.93% 9.53%
All Others 6.53% 8.54%
Sources: U.S. Commerce Department (Prelim) | U.S. Commerce Department (Final) | DOC = U.S. Dept. of Commerce

 


Additional Resources

Association for Print Technologies is a member of STOPP - Stop Tariffs on Printers and Publishers. The STOPP website, www.stopnewsprinttariffs.org, includes additional information and resources relating to these issues.

 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection provides a FAQ document on anti-dmping and countervailing duties.

 


1Hale, Zack. "Norpac draws ire of publishing industry over paper tariffs". The Daily News. 16 Feb 2018.

2U.S. Customs and Border Protection. CBP Info Center.

3Includes: Catalyst Paper, Catalyst Pulp Operations Limited, and Catalyst Pulp and Paper Sales, Inc.

4Includes: Resolute FP Canada, Inc., Fibrek Gnereal Partnership (Fibrek), and Resolute Growth

5Includes: Papier Masson WB (White Burch) LP, FF Soucy WB LP, and Stadacona WB LP

6Includes: Kruger Publication Papers Inc., Corner Book Pulp and Paper Limited, Kruger Energy Bromptonville LP, Kruger Holdings L.P., Kruger Holdings GP Inc., and Kruger Inc.