Catalyst Paper’s Crofton mill in the Cowichan Valley. (Catalyst)

U.S. states, industry join call for end to Trump’s newsprint tariff

American newspapers depend on Canadian paper, B.C. a large supplier

An organization of western U.S. states and Canadian provinces is joining the call for the U.S. government to drop its preliminary duties on imported newsprint and book paper.

The U.S. Commerce Department has imposed preliminary duties on Canadian uncoated paper that total more than 28 per cent. That’s adding greatly to the costs of U.S. newspapers that are already struggling, says the executive of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region, a group of government and private-sector representatives.

PNWER members include B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana, with a head office in Seattle. Its executive statement, released Thursday, notes that the U.S. paper industry has shifted away from newsprint as demand in the U.S. has declined by 75 per cent since 2000.

That leaves Canadian producers like Catalyst Paper paying a steep duty and passing costs on to U.S. customers. Catalyst has operations in the Cowichan Valley, Port Alberni and Powell River, a distribution centre in Surrey and headquarters in Richmond.

RELATED: Duties could price Catalyst out of business

The tariffs have drawn protests from more than 1,100 U.S. newspaper companies, Democrat and Republican Members of Congress and the American Forest and Paper Association, which would be expected to benefit from the trade protection.

“Printers and publishers are not able to absorb these increased costs and may be forced to lay off workers, cut production, print fewer pages and shift more of their content and subscribers to digital platforms,” said Matt Morrison, executive director of PENWR.

Unifor, the union representing pulp and paper as well as newspaper employees in Canada, has launched a campaign to “Stop Trump’s tariffs” on the industry.

B.C. Premier John Horgan has called for a meeting of provincial party leaders, mayors and Unifor representatives to discuss solutions to the problem.

Just Posted

Pacific Insight to close in April

The remaining employees at the Nelson automotive manufacturing facility to be laid off

Free naloxone kits, training offered in Nelson

The sessions run Jan. 17 and 24, 1 p.m. at the Salvation Army

Nominations open for Nelson’s Citizen of the Year

Recent winners include Kim Charlesworth and Helen Jameson

Nelson Hydro to increase urban rates 1.5 per cent, rural 2.94 per cent

Much of the increase will go to vegetation management

Leafs add 2 players at KIJHL trade deadline

Nelson also traded defenceman Tyson Soobotin to Castlegar

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Chiasson nets shootout winner as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

Edmonton moves one point ahead of Vancouver

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Truck hauling compressed gas for ‘virtual pipeline’ crashes on B.C. highway

Driver charged and highway closed for nine hours - containers did not rupture

Most Read