US investigates SC paper imports from Canada

Friday, Mar 13, 2015

US imported around 1.1 million t (1.2 million sh. t) of SC paper from Canada last year, representing 88% of total SC paper imports in 2014.

The anger among US magazine paper manufacturers about increasing imports of supercalendered paper (SC paper) from Canada seems to be growing apace as demand on the domestic market is decreasing. US paper manufacturers, united in the "Coalition for Fair Paper Imports", have now asked the US Department of Commerce (DOC) and the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) to impose countervailing duties on what they consider unfair and subsidised SC paper imports from Canada.

The Coalition for Fair Paper Imports - whose members include US manufacturers Verso Corporation and Madison Paper Industries, a UPM-Kymmene subsidiary - alleges that the Canadian government and various provincial government are providing direct or indirect countervailable subsidies to SC paper manufacturers and exporters and that the US domestic paper industry is being materially injured by reason of unfairly traded SC paper imports from Canada.

There are four SC paper manufacturers in Canada: Port Hawkesbury Paper, Resolute Forest Products, Irving Paper and Catalyst Paper. The scope of the petition filed by the US SC paper manufacturers cover all SC paper grades, from SC A+ and SC A to SC B and SNC (soft nip calender), regardless of basis weight, brightness, opacity, smoothness, or whether they are offered in reels or sheets.

The USITC has started a preliminary phase countervailing duty investigation to determine "whether there is a reasonable indication that an industry in the United States is materially injured or threatened with material injury [...] by reason of imports from Canada of supercalendered paper". A preliminary determination in countervailing duty investigation is expected by 13 April.

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