U.S. companies impose duty on East Coast paper companies as NAFTA talks resolve little

American paper companies have imposed a 20% duty on coated paper from the Port Hawkesbury Mill in Nova Scotia, while Irving Paper in New Brunswick and Catalyst Paper of Britsh Columbia have had a 18% tariff imposed. North Pacific Papers of Washington State has also filed for countervailing duties on Canadian uncoated groundwood paper from Canada. The Hawkesbury mill won on appeal in its first round with the NAFTA panel. The U.S. has until mid-summer to appeal that decision, while other cases are being appealed by both the Canadian Federal and Provincial governments. During a recent rally in Phoenix Arizona, U.S. President Donald Trump said the U.S. will “probably” terminate NAFTA because he doesn’t think a deal can be made. His comments come about a week after re-negotiation talks began. The U.S. has also formally demanded that the Chapter 19 dispute resolution panels favoured by Canada be scrapped. In the past, the majority of its decisions have been won by Canada. Ottawa has promised to walk away from the talks before it accepts a NAFTA without these panels. The first round of NAFTA talks held recently failed to bridge the differences between Canada, the USA and Mexico, and left little signs of any real compromises. Next month, Mexico will host the second round of talks from September 1-5. Talks will then move to Canada later in September and return to the United States in October.

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.