- David Chavern
In response to the Department of Commerce’s announcement last night of preliminary antidumping duties on Canadian imports of uncoated groundwood paper — which includes newsprint used by tens of thousands of publishers and printers in the United States — ranging from 0 to 22.16 percent for most of the investigated Canadian manufacturers and all non-investigated Canadian manufacturers:
Publishers and printers across the country are already feeling the negative consequences of a tighter newsprint market and higher prices resulting from the duties announced in January. The announcement today means that publishers and commercial printers will feel more pain in the months ahead, and more than 600,000 jobs across the printing and publishing industry will be threatened.
These antidumping duties will be assessed on top of countervailing duties of 4.4 to 9.9 percent that were announced on January 9, 2018. The duties are in response to a petition filed by one company with a few hundred employees, NORPAC, recently purchased by a New York–based hedge fund.
Along with publishers and printers, the American Forest and Paper Association that represents the U.S. paper industry opposes the petition. Newsprint is the highest expense item behind payroll. Most newspapers will not be able to absorb these increased costs and will be forced to reduce page counts, reduce days of distribution, and/or move more information to digital platforms. Some small-market or rural newspapers, with slim margins, will close. Ironically, the supposed beneficiary of duties on Canadian newsprint imports — U.S. newsprint mills — will be harmed as tariffs will artificially decrease the demand for their product.
The International Trade Commission (ITC) will conduct its final investigation in this case in the coming months. The Alliance calls on Congress and the ITC to reject these harmful tariffs and protect American jobs in printing and publishing, and U.S. paper production. We cannot allow our country’s trade laws to be manipulated to the detriment of American workers and industry.