In addition to Canadian supercalendered paper and softwood lumber, Canadian newsprint is now also being subject to an import duty from the US.
As well, the US and China are currently in a fight over paper and cellulose pulp, levying duties on each other for respective domestic imports.
Published on the US Federal Register Wednesday was a Final Determination from the International Trade Commission (the final final duty rates and conditions), finding Canada at fault. As expected. However the paperwork contained the same lack of clarity about the never-before-captured remanufactured wood products such as pallet and crating components, bedframes, and other unassembled commodity items.
Pleas to the Department of Commerce and IMM-CEE Supervisory Personnel have so far revealed no clarification on this matter. For now Canadian exporters are advised to pay duties on the items in question — those not specifically listed by HS code — until proper instruction can be received by Customs Brokers.
US Softwood Lumber Final Duties
The tariff averages 20.83 per cent on Canadian lumber imports, which are used mostly for home building in the United States.
As for newsprint, the US government has been investigating Canada’s newsprint industry since the end of August, after Washington-based North Pacific Paper. The preliminary newsprint decision was initially due by January 16 but has been postponed until March at the request of North Pacific Paper.
The US is expected to impose a 15 to 25 per cent duty on Canadian uncoated groundwood paper, which could boost newsprint costs for American papers.
About 25 lumber mills in Canada would be hurt by duties, most of them in Ontario and Quebec.
US Commerce says Canadian companies exported about US$1.6 billion worth of newsprint to the United States in 2016.
A group of more than 1,100 local newspapers was so alarmed about rising newsprint costs that it sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross this month saying that the market is being upended by just one company, North Pacific Paper, known as Norpac.