January 9, 2018
For Immediate Release

Huge Tariffs from USA will Hurt NL Forest Industry:
Are the Federal and Provincial Liberals Fighting for Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Workers?

Keith Hutchings, Natural Resources and Intergovernmental Affairs Critic for the Official Opposition, is asking if the Trudeau and Ball governments are fully engaged and protecting the paper industry in Newfoundland and Labrador and pulp and paper workers of the west coast, who are extremely concerned over news that the United States government may impose huge new tariffs on manufactured Newfoundland and Labrador newsprint sold in the US market.

“Our government in February 2014 made a huge commitment to the people of western Newfoundland by signing a loan agreement with Corner Brook Pulp and Paper for up to $110 million and a power assets and water rights purchase agreement. All parties supported the agreement, and it was the right thing to do,” said Hutchings.

“The question today is whether the Trudeau and Ball governments are prepared to do the right thing by standing up for the Corner Brook region and ensuring this unfair trade barrier is reversed. Even the United States News Media Alliance and National Newspaper Association are vigorously opposing the tariffs because it will increase costs and deny needed supply for their newspaper industry,” said Hutchings.

“Why is this issue being decided by the US Department of Commerce when there is a North American Free Trade Agreement containing a ‘Chapter 19’ that includes a process that lets an independent binational panel settle trade disputes and determine whether antidumping and countervailing duties should be imposed? Is the Trudeau government prepared to insist on a NAFTA process that is truly independent and be more fair to Newfoundland and Labrador? It’s time for Trudeau’s Cabinet representative for this province to speak up about what Ottawa is doing to safeguard our industry, economy and jobs through this dispute and with the re-negotiation process in NAFTA,” said Hutchings.

“Corner Brook Pulp and Paper’s parent company, Kruger, will also deal with costly tariffs affecting not only Newfoundland and Labrador but its two paper mills in Quebec, where it operates also. We do not need a situation where one province’s business ability to operate is pitted against another’s. What discussion has the Ball government had with the owners of CBPP and the effect these tariffs would have on their ability to operate in Newfoundland and Labrador? That industry is very important to our province and vital to the western region, which is why we entered into an agreement in 2014 to secure its future. The Ball government has to be prepared to fight just as hard.”

“We are concerned with the Ball government’s ability to convince the Trudeau Liberals to make this province’s economy a national priority. It is the same government that was elected when the current Prime Minister signed the CETA Agreement and was silent when an area of provincial jurisdiction in fisheries – Minimum Processing Requirements – was given away, and nothing was negotiated in return. The Ball Liberals gave away MPRs in return for absolutely nothing. We need to ensure we are doing all we can for a reversal of these tariffs, either through Chapter 19 of NAFTA, through our federal government intervention, any and all means to protect our industry and jobs,” said Hutchings.

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Media Contact:
Heather MacLean
Director of Operations and Communications, Office of the Official Opposition
(709) 729 6105, heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca

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