The U.S. Department of Commerce Thursday reaffirmed, but reduced, tariffs on uncoated groundwood paper from Canada, which includes newsprint used by newspapers and other segments of the printing and publishing industries. 

Commerce revised the duties, setting them at 8.4 percent to 20.26 percent instead of 4.4 percent to 32 percent. 

Another decision on the matter is anticipated later this month. The International Trade Commission could reverse the tariffs at the end of its investigation into whether imports have caused or threaten to cause material injury. The ITC vote is expected on Aug. 29. 

“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 of the 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,” he said.

“We appreciate Commerce’s slight reduction in tariffs; however, commercial printing companies, book printers, suppliers and consumers will still pay a price with increased costs and less business, which will hurt our member companies, their employees, and ultimately U.S. newsprint manufacturers,” said Michael Makin, president of the Printing Industries of America. “We hope the International Trade Commission will reverse this tax on paper,” he said. 

Chavern’s and Makin’s statements are among those released by the Stop Tariffs on Printers & Publishers (STOPP), a coalition of printers, publishers, retailers, paper suppliers and distributors.

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