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

Driver convicted in death of Const. Sarah Beckett granted partial parole

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend an alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after fatal crash in Langford

Husband of slain RCMP officer ‘disgusted and disheartened’ by parole board

Killer of Const. Sarah Beckett allowed limited day parole for alcohol treatment

Toronto Arrows players take aim at youth rugby clinic

Juan de Fuca team offers get acquainted clinics

Braves host 2019 Prospects Game, Sunday at Pearkes

- This story was updated to correct the date of the Prospects… Continue reading

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Suspect allegedly armed with handgun robs Island gas station

Incident occurred Sunday night in Nanaimo

MARS seeing influx of sick, injured eagles from north part of Vancouver Island

Factors for increase in eagle cases can be anything from lead poisoning to vehicle strikes

Kamala Harris opens U.S. presidential bid in challenge to Trump

The 54-year old portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in a video distributed by her campaign

Most Read