Published On: Thursday, 11 January 2018

Canada Fights to Protect Forestry and Pulp Jobs

Canada Fights to Protect Forestry and Pulp Jobs
Canada's forest wealth is a major economic driver for the country but is at risk from U.S. tariffs.

CANADA - The Canadian government has launched an immediate complaint before the World Trade Organization, challenging Washington’s use of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on newsprint.

Canada said the new U.S. duties imposed January 10 broke the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Anti-Dumping Agreement, the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes.

Starting January 10, the US Department of Commerce imposed unwarranted countervailing duties up to 9.93 per cent on imported Canadian uncoated groundwood paper (newsprint).

Canada is the largest exporter of newsprint in the world. According to the US Department of Commerce, Canadian newsprint paper exports to the United States totaled about 1.6 billion USD in 2016.

“These rates tabled lby the U.S. on uncoated groundwood paper represent the third action that stands to hurt hard working men and women in our mill communities across Canada,” says Derek Nighbor, CEO, Forest Products Association of Canada.

FPAC described the new duties as completely unjustified and protectionist and called on the federal government to protect the jobs of more than 4,500 Canadians from British Columbia to Newfoundland and Labrador who could be impacted,

“These duties are unwarranted and without merit and we 100 per cent support the federal government’s WTO filing position. Canada and the U.S. share a longstanding and important relationship, but in the face of these unfounded trade actions it’s important that our government defends Canada’s interests”.

As with the softwood lumber dispute, workers on both sides of the border are harmed by the trade war.

The FPAC noted this trade action will bring real harm to U.S. workers and businesses, impacting over 600,000 American jobs. The association applauded the efforts of Democratic and Republican U.S. Senators, and the publishers of over one thousand small and medium-sized U.S. newspapers who have demanded that Washington not impose countervailing and anti-dumping duties on Canadian newsprint.

Canada's $65-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2 per cent of the country's Gross Domestic Product and is one of Canada’s largest employers, operating in over 600 communities, providing 230,000 direct jobs, and 1 million indirect jobs across the country.