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‘We are on this,’ says MP Gudie Hutchings on U.S. tariffs

The Corner Brook Pulp and Paper mill. The unpublished spreadsheet of 2016 Liberal political contributions was provided to The Telegram by Elections NL, and it shows four $5,000 donations from Corner Brook Pulp and Paper.
The Corner Brook Pulp and Paper mill. - file photo

Corner Brook mill has support of MPs in midst of trade dispute

Gudie Hutchings is the MP for Long Range Mountains — the federal riding which includes the Corner Brook pulp and paper mill — and said the response to new tariffs slapped onto the mill’s products by the U.S. Department of Commerce is ongoing.

Hutchings said she has been involved in repeated discussions about the trade issue, but still made an immediate call after word of the latest tariff, a preliminary anti-dumping charge of 22.16 per cent on newsprint and other uncoated groundwood paper products shipped from the mill into the U.S.

“I was speaking to Minister (Seamus) O’Regan right away,” she said, highlighting the fact the tariff was issued without any investigation of the local operation or response from Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, or parent Kruger Inc.

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Added to a countervailing duty announced in early January, products from the Corner Brook mill now face a 32.09 per cent added charge at the border.

In addition to talking to the province’s representative in the federal Cabinet, Hutchings said she has spoken with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr on the uncoated groundwood paper products file.

She said she knows the provincial government has done the same.

“We are on this,” she said.

Hutchings spoke about the process and dates yet to come, but also that there has been outreach to the company. She said there have been no requests made by Kruger yet.

Premier Dwight Ball has said the same.

The mill is an icon in Newfoundland and Labrador, Hutchings said, adding at this point the conversations around the hefty new tariffs aren’t about any end to the operation.

“In Newfoundland and Labrador we have challenges all the time, so let’s see if we can address this one by working together,” she said.

ashley.fitzpatrick@thetelegram.com

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