The United States government has given most Canadian newsprint producers a reprieve by lowering final anti-dumping and countervailing duties (CVD) in its final determination issued Thursday.
The move comes after several American businesses complained the tax on Canadian newsprint would threaten the already-struggling American newspaper industry.
The rate of Montreal-based Kruger, which owns Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Ltd., CVD was lowered slightly to 9.53 per cent.
“We're very pleased with the outcome so far, but we're going to continue to fight and continue to work until the end of this month and see what the next set will be,” Premier Dwight Ball told reporters on Friday morning.
“We knew in the beginning that these were unfounded, they were not necessary, it was a poor decision.”
Later this month, Ball, representatives from Kruger and other players from the country’s forestry industry will make a final pitch to the International Trade Commission in hopes of reducing the CVD rate even further, possibly even eliminating it.
“There's a chance it can go to zero,” Ball said.
That effort, MP Seamus O’Regan says, could be buoyed by an unexpected ally in United States newspapers and media organization.
“They're already feeling extreme financial pressure and now they're having to pay more for newsprint, so, they'll continue to ramp up the pressure as well,” the federal minister of Veterans Affairs said.
In the meantime, Ball said Kruger will continue to look for other opportunities to diversify exports like they have with India.
The U.S. says US$1.21 billion worth of uncoated groundwood paper was imported from Canada last year.
The Trump administration began investigating Canada's newsprint industry after Washington-based North Pacific Paper Co., complained Canada was dumping newsprint into the American market and unfairly subsidizing its industry at home.
It is the same argument made regarding Canada's softwood industry, which led to the imposition of both countervailing and anti-dumping duties on most Canadian softwood exports to the United States.
The U.S. International Trade Commission is slated to decide in mid-September whether the American complainant suffered harm.
With files from The Canadian Press