Premier Dwight Ball is committed to working with major stakeholders in the forestry industry in this province to address concerns about a tentative American tariff on Canadian newsprint.
A countervailing duty on newsprint imported to the United States was announced earlier this week and Corner Brook Pulp and Paper will be among the companies hardest hit with a 9.93 per cent duty added onto its products shipped to the United States.
More worry could be headed this way as early as March when the American government may introduce an anti-dumping tariff for paper the American government feels was sold into its markets at lower prices than it should have been.
Ball, who spoke about the situation Friday after a press conference, said his government is almost finished its analysis of the information provided to him about the tentative tariff.
He’s expected to sit down with mill officials in the near future and he also said representatives of the U.S. federal government’s finance department are expected to make a site visit to the mill in March of this year.
“We’re preparing the arguments and the defence, I guess you might say, about the decision that was made,” Ball said of the expected visit to the mill.
The tariff is expected to be in effect in less than a week so he’s committed to making a clear stance on the issue, knowing the mill is a vital part of western Newfoundland and the forestry sector is dear to all parts of the province.
“It’s right around the corner, but we’re going to continue to work with the company to make sure that we mitigate the impact on the economy in our province because this is not just about Corner Brook Pulp and Paper … this is, indeed, about the forestry industry in our province,” he said.
Ball said he will be updating the taxpayers of the province every step of the way in the fight to protect the future of the mill.