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Federal Trade Group to Investigate Canadian Paper Subsidies

Officials in Maine's pulp and paper industry say they're pleased that the United States International Trade Commission has decided to investigate a situation which they say is hurting the state's mills.
The USITC decided on Friday that it would investigate provincial subsidies paid to restart a competing Canadian mill, the Port Hawkesbury mill, in Nova Scotia.

"The first hurdle is crossed. We know we've got a lot- several more-  hurdles to reach here." says Russ Dreschel, president of Madison Paper Industries. "Now we continue on."

Madison paper briefly curtailed its production and furloughed workers earlier this year, due in part to competition from Port Hawkesbury. Both mills produce a similar type of high quality, glossy paper, known as supercalendered paper.

Earlier this week, Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, and Congressman Bruce Poliquin sent a letter to USITC Chairwoman, Meredith Broadbent, seeking a preliminary injury determination. They said  U.S. mills, such as the one in Madison, and those owned by Verso Corp., have been forced onto unequal footing with their counterparts across the border. 

The USITC voted unanimously, five to zero, to launch the investigation.