Staff at Catalyst Paper are pleased with an International Trade Commission ruling to lift the duties levied on Canadian newsprint exports to the United States.

The ITC has lifted duties of more than 20 per cent on Catalyst newsprint exports, stating that newsprint exports from Canada didn’t cause or threaten injury to American newsprint producers.

Catalyst Paper’s President and CEO Ned Dwyer says the injury was incurred when the US Department of Commerce issued the levies against the employer of 65 hundred people.

“We had several US newsprint producers, as well as a lot of US newsprint users, or uncoated groundwood paper users, who all said that the market is actually going to be harmed more by the effect of these tariffs,” said Dwyer. “It will actually destroy demand, which will hurt the US producers. The ITC looked at that argument and agreed with it.”

The money lost because of these duties will be refunded to Catalyst Paper, but Dwyer said that process will take some time.

“The refund process doesn’t start until the final determination is published, which is about a month away, and then the refund process starts,” said Dwyer. “It typically takes six to eight months to get the return of the deposits that were made with US Customs.”

Dwyer said Catalyst appreciates all the support received from employees, communities, representatives at all levels of government, and unions.

To that end, in a press release, Premier John Horgan said, “People who work at Catalyst on Vancouver Island, in Powell River and Metro Vancouver can breathe more easily today. Today’s ruling means that Catalyst will no longer have to pay these debilitating, unfair duties. We’re very pleased with the outcome and we’re glad the ITC has made the right decision based on the evidence before it. This is good news for people who work in the newsprint industry.”

Catalyst has mills in Crofton, Powell River, and Port Alberni.