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The U.S. Department of Commerce has hit Kruger Inc., the owner of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, with an initial duty of 9.93 per cent, The Globe and Mail reported Tuesday evening.

It was the highest of all the duties imposed on Canadian newsprint producers after a trade complaint was filed by an American paper company about unfair subsidies.

In the case of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, the U.S. had taken aim at a $110-million loan the government gave to Kruger Inc. back in 2014 to keep the mill afloat. The province also had to defend every other action it has taken to prop up the mill for the last 13 years.

Provincial officials said Tuesday the duty would take effect in five days, but a final ruling would not be made until August.

Premier Dwight Ball released a statement saying he was disappointed with the decision, and that he will continue to advocate for the company and the industry.

“The United States is Newfoundland and Labrador‎’s largest trading partner representing close to 60 per cent of all goods exported from the province,” Ball said. “As a government, we have worked vigorously to advocate for local businesses and workers, including Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, against the increased protectionist environment that exists in the United States.”

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