Newspaper printing and publishing are the latest victim in America’s ongoing trade war with friends and foes.
New tariffs on aluminum and steel and products from China are getting a lot of media coverage, but a similar threat exists in the publishing world.
The paper that you are reading now is directly threatened by tariffs onto the imports of newsprint from Canada. These range from duties as high as 32 percent.
According to the News Media Alliance, the tariffs started with a newspaper mill in the Pacific Northwest called NORPAC. In August 2017, NORPAC petitioned the United States Department of Commerce to begin applying tariffs to newsprint imported from Canada. They claimed the imported paper was harming the U.S. paper industry at large. NORPAC is acting in their own interest here.
NORPAC is a small mill in Washington state. No other U.S. mill is supporting North Pacific, and the reason why is simple. The industry knows tariffs will cause damage to newspapers and ultimately reduce the demand for newsprint.
The Times-Journal is an important part of your community. We have served DeKalb County for nearly 140 years, and we plan to be here for 140 more.
These tariffs directly affect our community’s ability to get its newspaper. Community newspapers around the U.S. will feel a hit from this.
In the past month, the Times-Journal has been able to provide its readers with comprehensive content from around the county with special editions in addition to our regular news coverage. New tariffs would make this near impossible in the future.
According to The Daily News in Galveston, Texas, a sister publication of the Times-Journal, more than 60 organizations with stakes in the future availability and price of paper have formed a coalition to fight back against these unnecessary and harmful impediments to free trade.
The coalition summed up its argument:
We are printers, publishers, paper suppliers and distributors that represent mostly small businesses in local communities that employ more than 600,000 workers in the United States.
We have joined together to fight proposed government tariffs on newsprint that have been initiated by petitions filed by a single newsprint mill, NORPAC, an outlier in the industry that is owned by a New York hedge fund, with no additional pulp or paper operations in the United States or globally.
The proposed tariffs will force our member companies to cut jobs not only at newspapers, commercial printing, and book publishing operations, but throughout the supply chain, such as paper manufacturers, ink suppliers, fuel producers and equipment manufacturers.
Our country’s trade laws should not be manipulated by one company in a way that will have a detrimental impact on American jobs throughout our economy.
Nobody else reports on your community the way the Times-Journal does and has for more than a century.
These tariffs will make a difficult business even harder.