Last week's decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission to eliminate newsprint tariffs on Canadian newsprint was a relief to American newspapers. Whatever publishers may think about the future of print journalism, an up to 30 percent increase on the price of newsprint imported from Canada made it even harder to keep putting a paper out.
Moving forward, newspaper companies and families can be proud of their united and emphatic campaign against the tariffs. And we can all be grateful to senators, congressmen and other politicians across the country who testified or spoke out against the move. That doesn't mean they get a break on objective news coverage, but we appreciate their commitment to a free and independent news media in any format.
Here are some excerpts from editorials, news stories and statements on the decision:MORE
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.MORE
Stop Tariffs on Printers & Publishers (STOPP), a coalition of printers, publishers, retailers, paper suppliers and distributors today released the following statements regarding the U.S. Department of Commerce's final determination on uncoated groundwood paper imports from Canada.
"These import duties on newsprint have already caused job losses in the printing and publishing sectors and have resulted in decreased news coverage in local communities," said David Chavern, president and CEO, News Media Alliance. "Although this is a step in the right direction, the reduced rates only lessen the pace at which the tariffs are harming the industry. We hope that the International Trade Commission will entirely reverse these misguided tariffs at the end of the month."
Newsprint used by U.S. newspapers and commercial printers consists of two-thirds of uncoated groundwood paper. This claim was filed by North Pacific Paper Company (NORPAC), a single paper mill located in Longview, Washington, owned by a New York private equity firm. NORPAC is an outlier-the rest of the U.S. paper industry opposes the tariffs due to the deep and lasting harm to the industry's primary customers-newspapers, book publishers and printers.MORE
Seventeen members of Congress were scheduled to testify today before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to defend 600,000 American workers in the newspaper, retail, printing and publishing industries, along with the millions of Americans who read local newspapers.MORE
SNPA needs every publisher's help with an important survey as we – and our partners with Stop Tariffs on Printers & Publishers (STOPP) – collectively fight the newsprint tariffs on Canadian newsprint.
We ask that you answer as many questions as possible by July 3. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TariffImpact2018MORE
Beginning July 2, The Vicksburg Post will change its print publication days to Tuesday through Friday and Sundays, no longer producing printed editions on Mondays and Saturdays.MORE
- Sign our petition here: https://www.stopnewsprinttariffs.org/join-the-fight-to-protect-u-s-jobs
- Email five individuals – family, friends, neighbors, etc. – with a note asking each to get involved to protect jobs in our community and the printing, publishing and newsprint industries.
- Follow STOPP on Twitter and Facebook. Share information with your friends and family to help spread the news about this tax overreach, using this hashtag #StoptheNewsprintTax across social channels.
The staffs of SNPA member newspapers are encouraged to sign the citizen petition to the International Trade Commission opposing the tariffs on imports of uncoated groundwood paper.
Newspapers also are encouraged to share the petition with their readers, and urge them to sign it as well.
The petition is being circulated by Stop Tariffs on Printing & Publishing (STOPP), a broad-based coalition representing the U.S. printing and publishing industries that was formed to fight these crippling tariffs. SNPA is a coalition member of STOPP.MORE
Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., and Charlie Crist, D-Fla., yesterday introduced legislation to suspend tariffs on Canadian imports of uncoated groundwood paper which includes newsprint used by newspapers, book publishers, printers and direct mail companies.
The legislation, H.R. 6031 – "Protecting Rational Incentives in Newsprint Trade Act of 2018" or "PRINT Act" – would temporarily halt both the preliminary and any final duties while the Department of Commerce (Commerce) completes its study on the economic health of the printing and publishing industries. The study would, among other things, examine whether the tariffs would harm local news coverage, reduce employment in the publishing and printing industries, or harm local businesses that advertise in local newspapers.
The House bill is identical to S.2835 that was introduced by Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Angus King (I-Maine) in May.
SNPA President Patrick Dorsey, publisher of the Herald-Tribune Media Group in Sarasota, Fla., and regional vice president Coastal Group, GateHouse Media, said: "Thanks for the leadership and common sense shown by Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., and Charlie Crist, D-Fla., as they introduced legislation in the House to suspend tariffs on Canadian imports of uncoated groundwood paper. They should be lauded for stepping up to protect American jobs and working to stop these damaging tariffs."MORE
Monday, in an effort to protect printers and publishers from unwarranted tariffs, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) introduced S. 2385, the "Protecting Rational Incentives in Newsprint Trade Act of 2018," or "PRINT Act." Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Doug Jones (D-AL), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) joined as original co-sponsors.
The PRINT Act would suspend new tariffs currently being imposed on imported uncoated groundwood paper from Canada, which is the primary source of newsprint and other paper used by domestic newspapers, book publishers and commercial printers. Simultaneously, the legislation would require the Department of Commerce to review the economic health of the printing and publishing industries. Newspapers and printers across the United States have told Congress that the new import tariffs – as high as 32 percent – would jeopardize the viability of the industry and threaten to decimate the U.S. paper industry's customer base.
SNPA President Patrick Dorsey, publisher of the Herald-Tribune Media Group in Sarasota, Fla., and regional vice president Coastal Group, GateHouse Media, said: "We appreciate the leadership of Senator Collins and Senator King and the other co-sponsors of the bill for stepping up to protect American jobs and stop these damaging tariffs. They fully understand this action was caused by one outlier mill owned by a hedge fund and is not supported by the broader domestic newspaper producing industry. These unfair job-killing import taxes are already taking a toll across the country as newspapers have had to eliminate jobs and take other significant cost saving measures to maintain viable businesses. This is putting many community newspapers in jeopardy and further reducing their ability to keep our citizens informed on what is going on in their cities and towns. Ultimately, this is damaging to our representative democracy. The PRINT Act is a positive step in reversing these damaging impacts."MORE
The deal isn't yet finished. But Ken Doctor says he has been told by multiple sources that there are no major stumbling blocks left to negotiate in a megamerger between the United States' two largest daily newspaper chains – Gannett and GateHouse. It's increasingly likely to happen, with an announcement by summer's end. That's despite absolute public silence from the companies involved.
Read more from his article in NiemanLab.More
Here's a taste of what you'll hear in Chicago, Oct. 6-8:
- Walter Hussman reports on the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's bold move to convert all its subscribers to digital subscribers.
- Recruitment guru Laurie Kahn on what newspapers need to do to assemble a team of sales superstars.
- The Post and Courier reveals results from the Google News Initiative – literally days after its conclusion.
- News from Washington on the newspaper industry's fight to get a fair share of revenue from Facebook and Google.Springs.