paper mill tariffs

The Department of Commerce recently announced counter-vailing and anti-dumping duties on Canadian imports of newsprint. These duties range as high as 32 percent.

The sole petitioner seeking protection is North Pacific Paper Company (NORPAC), a single mill in Washington state that is owned by a New York–based hedge fund. No other U.S. newsprint mills have supported NORPAC, and its petitions are opposed by the American Forest and Paper Industry. Why? The rest of the industry knows that these tariffs will cause damage to newspapers and ultimately reduce the demand for newsprint.

The printers who typically utilize Canadian newsprint are those in the Northeast and Midwest, where there are currently no U.S. mills operating.

The Midwest is not a newsprint desert because of unfair trade by Canadian paper mills. Rather, newsprint mills shut down or converted to producing other, more profitable paper products when the demand for newsprint fell, something that has been happening steadily for decades.

Historically, advertising revenue has supported newspapers. The recession and market forces have cut print ad revenues in half industrywide over the last 10 years. With less print advertising, newspapers use less newsprint. In fact, the demand for newsprint in North America has declined by 75 percent since 2000.

Since these tariffs have been announced and collected at the border, newspapers, including the Jewish News, have experienced price increases of 20-30 percent.

Please let the president as well as your members of Congress and senators know that these reckless tariffs must be repealed — not just because they hurt newspapers, but because they will damage the customers and communities newspapers serve.