BY GENA HUFF, Editor
A New York-based equity firm filed a complaint in 2017 to the U.S. Department of Commerce after buying a paper mill in Longview, Wash. The complaint alleged Canadian newsprint companies had an unfair advantage over U.S. domestic mills because of Canadian subsidies. The Department of Commerce responded by levying a tariff on uncoated groundwood paper, the official name for newsprint.
The tariff began at 6.2 percent in January of this year. In March, the tariff increased to over 22 percent. This single company, which employs roughly 300 workers, put 600,000 jobs at risk.
Printed newspapers, already in competition with the digital age, now see an exorbitant increase in publishing costs. In the U.S. there are only five domestic mills which produce newsprint. Canada has about 25. The tariffs levied on the newsprint coming from Canada has raised publishing costs to a point where many newspapers are laying off workers and/or cutting back on the frequency of published issues.
On July 17, a group of almost 20 members of Congress testified before the International Trade Commission regarding the threat this tariff poses for newspapers and the First Amendment.
Representative Robert Aderholt (AL-04) told the commission he supported President Trump’s message to large companies to seek American subcontractors and suppliers. He supported the President’s decision to put American workers first and to stop giving unfair advantage to foreign competitors.
See complete story in the Pickens County Herald.