Members of the printing, publishing and paper-producing industries have formed Stop Tariffs on Printers & Publishers (STOPP), a coalition to fight proposed countervailing duties (CVD) and anti-dumping duties (AD) on imports of Canadian uncoated groundwood papers including newsprint and other papers.
The preliminary duties, which were assessed by the Department of Commerce in January and March, are the result of a petition filed by North Pacific Paper Company.
"The STOPP coalition is concerned that these CVD and AD duties, which range up to 32 percent combined, will saddle U.S. printing and publishing businesses with increased costs and threaten thousands of American jobs," a release from the News Media Alliance said.
The coalition is asking the International Trade Commission and the U.S. Congress to reject the newsprint tariffs. STOPP has launched a new website, www.stopnewsprinttariffs.org.
Members of the STOPP coalition include the American Society of News Editors, Association of Alternative Newsmedia, Association of American Publishers, Association for Print Technologies, Book Manufacturers Institute, Catalyst Paper, Inland Press Association, Kruger, Local Search Association, National Newspaper Association, News Media Alliance, Printing Industries of America, Quad Graphics, Rayonier Advance Materials, Resolute Forest Products, Southern Newspaper Publishers Association, Trusted Media Brands (formerly Readers Digest Association), Valassis Communications, and Worzalla Publishing.
Leaders in the newspaper, paper, printing and book publishing industry spoke against the tariffs in the release.
The "STOPP coalition is in high gear with our advocacy work," Seth Kursman, vice president of corporate communications, sustainability and government affairs for Resolute Forest Products, told News & Tech. "This perverse manipulation of trade law by one outlier mill, owned by a New York hedge fund, is compromising hundreds of thousands of jobs, wreaking havoc on an important segment of the U.S. economy, and putting at risk an information lifeline for communities across the country," he said.
"As the leading producer and employer for uncoated groundwood paper in the United States, we recognize that market erosion, not unfair trade, has caused more than a 75 percent decline in North American newsprint consumption since the year 2000," he said in the release.
"Newsprint is the second largest expense for small newspapers after human resource costs," said Susan Rowell, publisher of the Lancaster News (South Carolina) and president of the National Newspaper Association. "A decision by the federal government to impose tariffs on our paper supply would imperil our news-gathering missions and put jobs in jeopardy at our newspapers and at many other organizations and companies in our communities that rely upon a healthy newspaper."
'Would not protect'
"The bottom line is these tariffs on uncoated groundwood paper would not protect domestic paper producers. Paper manufacturers are not able to absorb the cost of the tariff and have already let it be known that the tariff will be passed on to U.S. consumers," said Joel Quadracci, CEO of Quad/Graphics.
"This will result in driving up the costs of print and force an even faster migration to digital options at a time when our industry is already being severely disrupted. This will result in the loss of U.S. jobs. In the case of rural residents with no broadband access, they will end up underserved with no newspaper either," he said.
"Protectionist tariffs have a well-documented history of negatively impacting economies," said the Association for Print Technologies President Thayer Long.
U.S. to charge up to 22 percent tariff on Canadian newsprint
The U.S. government has announced a preliminary determination in an antidumping duty investigation of imports of uncoated groundwood paper from Canada. That class of paper includes newsprint, as well as paper for printing and book publishing.
The Commerce Department says it determined that exporters from Canada have sold uncoated groundwood paper in the U.S. between 0.00 and 22.16 percent less than fair value, down from the estimated dumping margins alleged by the petitioner of 23.45 to 54.97 percent. The petitioner is North Pacific Paper Company of Washington state.
As a result of the March 13 decision, "Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits from importers of uncoated groundwood paper from Canada based on these preliminary rates," according to a release from the department. Commerce is scheduled to announce the final determination in this investigation on or about August 2.
U.S. authorities will start collecting cash deposits immediately from Canadian importers based on the preliminary duty rate, CNHI News Service reported.
If Commerce makes affirmative final determinations of dumping and the U.S. International Trade Commission makes an affirmative final injury determination, Commerce will issue an AD (anti-dumping duty) order. If Commerce makes a negative final determination of dumping or the ITC makes a negative final determination of injury, the investigation will be terminated and no order will be issued.