Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, has made the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s final decision to impose countervailing and antidumping duties of 20.26% on Catalyst Paper’s newsprint exports to the U.S.:
“B.C. is very frustrated and concerned about the continued effect these unwarranted punitive duties will have on B.C.’s forest sector and on the families in communities across B.C. whose livelihoods rely on it.
“These unfair U.S. duties, while lower than the preliminary duties of 28.25%, are affecting companies like Catalyst that support about 6,500 jobs in the province. We are committed to fighting for workers, industry and our communities, and to maintaining B.C.’s strong exports of pulp and paper.
“Our government and the Government of Canada have repeatedly raised this issue with our U.S. counterparts in hopes that common sense will prevail. Although these duties have been confirmed by the Department of Commerce, we know there has been an unprecedented level of opposition from across the U.S. political spectrum and industry.
“We urge the International Trade Commission (ITC) to do what is right and determine that the U.S. industry has not been injured, and overturn the Department of Commerce’s decision. Should the ITC ignore all evidence before it and find that U.S. industry has been injured in this case, we will work with the Government of Canada to pursue all appeals.
“Government has heard the concerns of a broad range of local and provincial stakeholders, including local mayors, MLAs, as well as others, and is engaged with Catalyst as the company seeks to stabilize its operations in the face of these unfair duties.
“The governments of B.C. and Canada demonstrated clearly during the investigation that they are not subsidizing Catalyst’s operations, and the Department of Commerce’s decision to continue to apply duties of over 20% on Catalyst’s exports is upsetting.”