UPDATE 1-U.S. confirms import duties on Canadian paper

Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:10pm EDT
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(Adds official confirmation of duties, background on electricity component of subsidy calculation)

WASHINGTON Oct 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Commerce confirmed import duties on uncoated printing paper from Canada in a final ruling released on Wednesday.

Commerce set final anti-subsidy duties on paper from Canada's Port Hawkesbury Paper at 20.18 percent, slightly below the preliminary ruling, after a complaint by U.S.-based Madison Paper Industries of Maine, owned by Finland's UPM-Kymmene Corp , and Verso Corp of Ohio.

Duties were increased to 17.87 percent for Resolute FP Canada Inc and to 18.85 percent for all other exporters of the paper, used to produce such materials as magazines, catalogs, corporate brochures, flyers and directories.

The U.S. International Trade Commission is due to make its final decision in the case by Dec. 4.

It was not immediately clear whether the final ruling counted the provision of cheap electricity as a subsidy as the preliminary decision had. The duties aim to compensate for unfair government support received by foreign companies.

The U.S. companies argued that Nova Scotia Power, owned by Canadian energy company Emera Inc, provided electricity too cheaply to Port Hawkesbury on the orders of the regulator, giving the Canadian company an unfair advantage.

But Canada's government and lawyers for Port Hawkesbury had warned that counting a private contract to provide discounted power as a subsidy would set a dangerous precedent.

(Reporting by Krista Hughes; Editing by Peter Cooney, Bernard Orr)