U.S. Reaches Preliminary Decision to Impose Duties on Canada’s Supercalendered Paper

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), Washington, D.C., USA, yesterday (July 29) issued its preliminary decision to impose countervailing duties on Canadian imports of supercalendered paper.

The Coalition for Fair Paper Imports—U.S.-based Madison Paper and Verso Corp.—petitioned the DOC in February 2015 and asked it to impose countervailing duties on imports of supercalendered paper from Canadian paper producers Port Hawkesbury Paper, as well as Resolute Forest Products, Irving Paper, and Catalyst Paper. The Coalition alleges 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, president & 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 DOC."

Catalyst stated that in its investigation, the DOC refused to examine each paper company individually. The U.S. agency examined Port Hawkesbury Paper and Resolute Forest Products, and assigned each company a rate of 20.33% and 2.04% respectively, but did not investigate Catalyst Paper or Irving Paper. Instead, the DOC assigned Catalyst and Irving an "all-others rate" of 11.19%, which is equal to the average of the rates that the DOC assigned to the other two companies.

The decision issued today is only a Preliminary Determination by the DOC of the duty. The Final Determination of the duty will be rendered on October 13 and its Final Order in early December.

Catalyst Paper manufactures diverse printing papers such as coated freesheet, coated and uncoated groundwood, newsprint, directory, as well as market pulp. Customers include retailers, publishers, and commercial printers in North America, Latin America, the Pacific Rim, and Europe. With five mills across North America, Catalyst has annual production capacity of 2.3 million metric tons.