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In victory for newspapers, U.S. ITC nullifies burdensome tariffs on Canadian newsprint

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Here’s a statement on the unanimous decision from STOPP:

Stop Tariffs on Printers & Publishers (STOPP), a coalition of printers, publishers, retailers, paper suppliers and distributors, today welcomed the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) decision to terminate duties currently being applied to uncoated groundwood paper, or newsprint, imports from Canada and issued the following statements:

“Today is a great day for American journalism. The ITC’s decision will help to preserve the vitality of local newspapers and prevent additional job losses in the printing and publishing sectors,” said David Chavern, president and CEO, News Media Alliance. “The end of these unwarranted tariffs means local newspapers can focus once again on playing a vital role in our democracy by keeping citizens informed and connected to the daily life of their communities.”

“We are pleased and gratified with the decision announced today,” said Tom Yunt, president of the Inland Press Association, a founding member of STOPP. “At a time of enormous challenge to our industry, our members would have been gravely damaged if the tariffs had continued to be imposed."

The U.S. Department of Commerce imposed anti-dumping and countervailing duties on uncoated groundwood paper made in Canada in response to a petition filed by North Pacific Paper Company (NORPAC), a paper mill located in Longview, Washington.

Following an in-depth investigation, the ITC rejected NORPAC’s claim that it was facing injury from alleged unfair trade practices by Canada. The ITC’s ruling that U.S. newsprint producers were not materially harmed by subject imports from Canada effectively puts an end to protective tariffs that the Commerce Department imposed earlier this year and revised just this month.

“From the start, we knew this tax on newsprint would immediately harm commercial printing companies, book printers, service companies, equipment suppliers and ultimately, consumers,” said Michael Makin, president and CEO, Printing Industries of America. “After analyzing the facts, the ITC has issued the right decision to protect American jobs across the country. Small businesses that are part of the printing industry can breathe a sigh of relief.”

Newsprint used by U.S. newspapers and commercial printers consists of two-thirds of uncoated groundwood paper. The spike in the cost of paper prompted harm across the industry − and forced many local newspapers to scale back reporting and reduce the number of editions they publish. The tariffs also repressed demand by small businesses that use printed advertising inserts and flyers to reach customers.

In the face of the threat to 600,000 American jobs in the newspaper, retail, printing and publishing industries, a broad and diverse coalition pursued all available avenues to advocate that public officials help put an end to the tariffs, including a petition signed by more than 11,000 Americans from all 50 states.

Roughly 150 Members of Congress expressed opposition to the tariffs with letters to key Administration officials, testimony delivered before the ITC, or co-sponsorship of legislation in the House and Senate. In addition, Both the Teamsters and the Communication Workers of America wrote letters opposing the tariffs, along with many others.

Learn more about STOPP’s campaign to #StoptheNewsprintTax here.