CEO Statement: Revision to Newsprint Tariffs Welcome, but Does Not Solve Underlying Problem
Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) announced its affirmative final determination on countervailing duties (CVD) and antidumping duties (AD) on imports of uncoated groundwood paper from Canada, which includes newsprint used by newspapers and other members of the printing and publishing industries. Commerce’s determination revises the preliminary CVD and AD duties, which now range from 8.4 percent to 20.26 percent instead of 4.4 percent to 32 percent.
While we appreciate the hard work the Commerce Department has put into this investigation and that the margins have been reduced, we believe the final determination does not solve the underlying problem. These taxes on Canadian imports for newsprint, which have been collected during in the preliminary phase, have already caused job losses at newspapers across the country and resulted in less quality news and information being distributed in local communities.
Fortunately, this case is not closed with the Department of Commerce’s final determination. The International Trade Commission (ITC) can reverse these tariffs in its final determination at the conclusion of its investigation into whether imports have caused or threaten to cause material injury. The ITC vote is expected on August 29.
There is strong evidence before the ITC that it is the decades-long shift from print to digital — not pricing from Canada — that has financially challenged the U.S. newsprint industry. No one wins if these tariffs remain. These taxes will simply force newspapers and printers to cut their use of newsprint, harming the U.S. paper industry the tariffs are intended to protect. We encourage the ITC to reverse these tariffs before more damage is done to publishers, printers and paper suppliers.
For more information:
STOPP Press Release: Statement on U.S. Department of Commerce’s Final Newsprint Countervailing and Antidumping Decision (August 2, 2018)
David Chavern is former President & CEO of the News/Media Alliance. Chavern has 30 years of experience in executive strategic and operational roles. Prior to the Alliance, he completed a decade-long tenure at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.