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More than 11,000 protest newsprint tariffs in STOPP petition

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More than 11,000 Americans are petitioning the U.S. government to reverse massive tariffs that the government recently imposed on newsprint, a coalition of printers, publishers, paper suppliers and distributors announced July 13.

The petition is sponsored by the STOPP Coalition (Stop Tariffs On Printers and Publishers) a group of printers, publishers, press associations—including Inland Press Association—as well as paper suppliers and distributors that represent mostly small businesses in local communities.

The new tariffs, as high as 30%, have dramatically increased the cost of newsprint in the United States, causes shortages, and forced many newspapers to reduce pages, decrease publishing frequency, or cut jobs. Many newspapers have expressed concern that increased long-term costs will put them out of business.

The STOPP Coalition has collected 11,261 signatures in opposition to the newsprint tariffs from all 50 states – as of July 12, 2018 at 11 a.m. ET.

STOPP said the five top states include: Kentucky with 1,287; Florida with 1,110; North Carolina with 613, Pennsylvania with 509 and New York with 494 signatures. The full petition text is available here.

Late last year, the U.S. Commerce Department imposed tariffs on newsprint in response to claims by North Pacific Paper Company, a single paper mill operating in the Pacific Northwest.  North Pacific is an outlier—the rest of the U.S. paper industry opposes the tariffs because the tariffs are causing deep and lasting harm to the industry’s primary customers.

North Pacific is owned by a New York private equity firm, with no additional pulp or paper operations in the United States or globally.

The STOPP coalition has assembled extensive evidence that the tariffs are already harming the U.S. printing and publishing industries. If the tariffs continue, the harm will extend to newspapers, commercial printing, and book publishing operations, and throughout the supply chain, such as paper manufacturers, ink suppliers, fuel producers, and equipment manufacturers.

Congressional delegations from Florida, Missouri, Illinois and New Mexico have written letters to the U.S. Government to object to the trade case. In addition, letters signed by over 50 elected officials, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Congressional members such as: Susan Collins, Angus King, Johnny Isakson, Ralph Norman, Liz Cheney, Kristi Noem, Brian Higgins among many others have also been sent. All letters available here.