Senators Collins, King Statement in Response to Commerce Department Announcement Regarding Expedited Review of Countervailing Duty Order

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King released the following statement today in response to the U.S. Department of Commerce announcement that it had initiated an expedited review of Catalyst Paper and Irving, sought by both companies, in connection with a trade case involving supercalendered paper exports from Canada.  Catalyst and Irving requested the expedited review because they were not individually investigated by the Department of Commerce and were assigned a duty rate based upon subsidies received by two other Canadian producers.
“The decision by the Department of Commerce to begin an expedited review of Irving and Catalyst is good news for Maine workers whose jobs could be affected by this unfortunate situation,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement.  “Irving and Catalyst are entitled to a fair and fact-based investigation.  While we support the imposition of tariffs to offset the large subsidies that the Canadian Government provided to Port Hawkesbury, which hurt the workers at Madison Paper, we believe it is unfair for the Department of Commerce to apply a tariff based on that case without determining whether or not Irving and Catalyst received subsidies. Reviewing all four Canadian producers of supercalendered paper should ensure that relief to the American paper industry, provided through tariffs on imports, reflects the subsidies, if any, actually received by each Canadian company.”

In December, countervailing duty orders were issued on supercalendered paper imports from Canada.  During the course of the investigation, however, the Department of Commerce chose to investigate only two producers – Port Hawkesbury Paper and Resolute.  As a result, the remaining two Canadian producers, Catalyst and Irving, were assigned duties based upon the subsidies provided to Port Hawkesbury and Resolute and not on subsidies, if any, received by Catalyst and Irving.  Together, both companies employ more than 1,000 men and women in Maine, who could be affected by this decision.  Last year, Senators Collins and King raised concerns directly with Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker regarding this omission and how it could negatively affect Maine employees of Catalyst and Irving.  The Senators have consistently called for a fact-based investigation of all four Canadian producers.