The Department of Commerce (Commerce) on August 2 announced its final determination regarding tariffs on newsprint imported from Canada. While Commerce is restricted by law from eliminating the tariffs altogether, it reduced the tariffs, particularly as they relate to the assessment of antidumping duties on manufacturers. While this was a positive step, the combined countervailing and antidumping duties still range up to 20 percent, depending upon the manufacturer. These duties cannot be absorbed by newspapers and will result in newspapers continuing to take measures to reduce their consumption of newsprint, and may cause some community and rural newspapers to go out of business.
The Alliance is encouraging the International Trade Commission (ITC) to reverse these tariffs when it votes on this trade case on August 29. The ITC is investigating whether imports of newsprint have caused or threaten to cause material injury to U.S. newsprint producers. Newspaper publishers, Canadian newsprint manufacturers and 19 Members of Congress expressed opposition to these tariffs at a ITC hearing last month. The Teamsters and the Communications Workers of America also oppose these tariffs.
The newsprint market is highly regional. West Coast and East Coast mills – whether in the US or Canada – do not compete with one another. A majority of the domestic paper industry firmly believes that the tariffs will harm U.S. newsprint producers, as newspapers and printers reduce their consumption of newsprint in response to higher costs. In short, the tariffs will hurt the very industry that they are supposed to protect. This is not how Congress intended the trade laws to be used. The ITC must reverse these tariffs to prevent future harm to publishers, printers and domestic paper producers.
If the ITC does not reverse these tariffs on August 29, these duties will continue to cause harm in the marketplace, unless Congress stops them.
Action Requested: We encourage you to contact your representatives and senators and ask that they co-sponsor the PRINT Act (S. 2835 / H.R. 6031), which would pause the collection of newsprint tariffs until further study is done on the impact on publishers and printers. We have provided background and talking points to aid you in your outreach. To date, 31 senators and 38 representatives have co-sponsored the legislation. Our goal is to reach 60 co-sponsors in the Senate and 100 in the House before Labor Day.
In the coming weeks, the Alliance staff will be calling you directly to follow-up on this request. In the meantime, if you have any questions or have reports on any communications with policymakers, please contact Paul Boyle at firstname.lastname@example.org.