INTERGOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS–Province Pleased with NAFTA Panel Ruling on Port Hawkesbury Paper The province is encouraged by a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) panel ruling last week on Port Hawkesbury Paper’s appeal of a countervailing duty levied by the United States. “We’re pleased with this preliminary decision,” said Michel Samson, Minister of Trade. “We’re supportive of Port Hawkesbury Paper and will continue to work with our partners on this important issue.” The unanimous decision of the five-person panel sends back to the U.S. Department of Commerce for reconsideration several key matters on which the panel challenged the department’s basis for imposing border duties, including on the key issue of electricity. The panel’s decision is the latest step in the NAFTA appeal process. The Department of Commerce must now reconsider its initial findings and respond to the NAFTA decision by this summer. In October 2015 the Department of Commerce announced a decision to uphold the tariffs first put in place through a preliminary ruling earlier that year. It imposed a 20.18 per cent duty on Port Hawkesbury Paper. While the tariff has been applied, it is being held in trust, pending the outcome of the appeal.