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

Three strong earthquakes reported off Vancouver Island

The quakes, all measuring more than 6.0 on the richter scale, were about 260 kilometres west of Tofino

Mother passes SD70 trustee torch to daughter in Port Alberni

Jane Jones loses after one term, but proud of her daughter Connie Watts

ELECTION 2018: Sharie Minions named Port Alberni mayor

Haggard, Solda, Washington, Poon, Paulson and Corbeil named councillors

Four incumbents re-elected to School District 70 in Port Alberni

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District board will have a new look

2018 municipal election: Few surprises on Vancouver Island

16 incumbent mayors will continue in their positions for four more years

Canada Post strikes leaves small shops in the lurch as holidays approach: CFIB

Rotating strikes began in Victoria, Edmonton, Halifax and Windsor

BCHL alumni has NHL jersey retired by Anaheim Ducks

Paul Kariya played with the Penticton Vees from 1990-1992

CFL playoff picture still muddled heading into weekend action

League revealed last week no fewer than 64 potential playoff permutations

New monitoring of vessel noise impact on endangered whales announced

Federal government to monitor underwater ship and mammal noise in B.C.’s Salish Sea

Used election signs could serve as emergency shelters, B.C. candidate says

Langley Township council hopeful wants to build one-person foul weather shelters for homeless

Liberals write off $6.3 billion in loans as part of money never to be collected

That includes student loans and a $2.6 billion write off that came through Export Development Canada

Trudeau, McKenna to announce compensation for federal carbon plan

Provinces that don’t have a carbon price of at least $20 per tonne of emissions will have Ottawa’s plan forced on them

UPDATE: American rapper killed in skydiving accident

Man, 34, dies in skydiving accident Saturday near Westwold, between Vernon and Kamloops

Most Read