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Canada requests trade panel on uncoated groundwood paper ruling by U.S.

Last Updated Sep 21, 2018 at 5:40 pm EDT

In this April 11, 2018, photo, production handler Joshuwa Conniff stacks newspapers onto a cart at the Janesville Gazette Printing & Distribution plant in Janesville, Wis. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Angela Major/The Janesville Gazette via AP

OTTAWA – Canada has requested a NAFTA trade panel review a U.S. Commerce Department ruling that imposed duties on uncoated groundwood products like newsprint.

The U.S. International Trade Commission overturned the Commerce Department’s ruling in late August, but it could be appealed.

Jean Majeau, spokesman for the Kruger Inc. paper company, says the request for a review of the Commerce Department’s decision will help protect the rights of Canadian producers if the North Pacific Paper Co. does appeal the ITC ruling.

The reversal of the duties on paper products like newsprint came after numerous U.S. lawmakers and businesses had complained the tax threatened the already-struggling newspaper industry.

The request for the panel under NAFTA chapter 19 was filed on behalf of the Government of Canada, several provincial governments and major Canadian forestry product producers.

The Chapter 19 dispute settlement process, which provides an avenue to challenge anti-dumping and countervailing duty decisions, is one of the key issues in the ongoing NAFTA renegotiations.