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

British Columbia Rodeo Association releases tentative 2019 schedule

The BCRA season opens with the Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo April 26-28, comes to Quesnel July 19-21

Quesnel Women’s Resource Centre wins $500 for Deeds Well Done

There were 28 nominations to the campaign in Quesnel

Quesnel Thunder Peewees win silver at home

The host hockey team beat squads from Northwest District, Kamloops, Smithers and Prince George

Quesnel’s 27th annual Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail Run attracting mushers from as far as Montana

Participantss will be sworn in as official Canada Post mail carriers Jan. 25 in Quesnel

Protecting your operation from wildfire the focus of upcoming workshop in Quesnel

The BC Agriculture and Food Climate Action Initiative hosts a risk reduction workshop Jan. 31

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found on Vancouver Island

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

Most Read