U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-New York) on Jan. 26 urged the U.S. Department of Commerce to reconsider its recent decision to impose duties on the raw material, uncoated groundwood paper from Canada, used by New York's "already at-risk Upstate and local newspaper companies," according to a release from his office. 

Schumer said if the federal government pursues large duties, New York's large and small newspapers, which already operate on tight margins, would suffer, causing workers to lose jobs and diminishing the flow of top-notch journalism to people across Upstate New York. "Declining newspaper demand could, in turn, harm the paper industry, which these duties aim to protect," the release said.

The American Forestry Paper Association, which represents 80 percent of U.S. paper manufacturers, opposes the case, the office pointed out. 

Schumer called on the Commerce Department to "reconsider the impact of these duties on America's paper industry and by extension, newspaper industry, and reconsider their decision that would stave off harmful impacts to an already at-risk, vital American industry."

On Jan. 9, the Department of Commerce assessed preliminary countervailing duties ranging from 6 to 9.9 percent on Canadian imports of groundwood paper, which are currently being collected. Commerce will assess preliminary antidumping duties in early March. The investigations are scheduled to be finalized in July, when the ITC will decide whether there's injury or risk of injury to the domestic industry.

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