Tariffs are slamming newspapers with higher costs. Publishers want a reprieve

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Newsprint tariffs prompt layoffs at Tampa Bay Times

The newspaper business has been combating tariffs on Canadian newsprint for months, claiming that they may devastate an already troubled enterprise. A vote this week may resolve whether or not these tariffs are right here to remain.

The US Worldwide Commerce Fee is predicted to resolve Wednesday whether or not imports of a kind of Canadian paper are hurting American producers.

The fee may successfully reverse the tariffs, first levied by the Commerce Division in January and March, or maintain them in place.

The preliminary duties precipitated the worth of newsprint to spike round 30% at one level, opponents of the tariffs advised CNNMoney earlier this yr. In current months, newspapers have lower jobs, lowered pages and ended some day by day editions.

Since then, the Commerce Division has capped the best tariff at about 17%, down from 22%. That tariff additionally solely applies to 1 Canadian enterprise, Catalyst Paper Firm. The corporate relies close to Vancouver, a couple of hundred miles from the Washington state headquarters of the one US firm that pushed the Commerce Division to think about the tariffs.

However the Commerce Division additionally finalized one other tariff of as much as 10% on a number of Canadian paper firms, together with Catalyst.

The company says the measure counters subsidies that these firms get from the Canadian authorities, hurting American opponents.

Leaving the tariffs in place, even at lowered ranges, may tremendously hurt the newspaper business, stated Paul Boyle, senior vp of public coverage at Information Media Alliance, a commerce affiliation that represents about 2,000 newspapers in North America.

US newspapers are already struggling due to declining advert income and readership. The tariffs are making these issues worse.

Earlier this yr, The Tampa Bay Occasions, Florida’s largest newspaper, stated it was slicing about 50 jobs. Writer Paul Tash advised CNNMoney on the time that the tariffs added $three million in bills that the paper couldn’t take up.

Different publishers have expressed comparable considerations. Small newspapers in Maryland, Georgia, Colorado and Mississippi have all stated they may lower the variety of editions they print every week partially due to tariffs.

“What we’ve got stated concerning the affect of tariffs is definitely panning out,” Boyle stated. “We stated these tariffs should not going to assist US newsprint producers, as a result of it is going to speed up the decline in demand.”

The LaGrange Each day Information, a small paper in Georgia, stated final week that it’ll begin printing 5 editions per week as an alternative of six, partly due to “fast will increase in newsprint prices.”

“What we’re being charged now to print our newspaper is greater than it was 4 months in the past, is greater than it was eight months in the past. That is a direct correlation, clearly, with the tariffs,” stated Baker Ellis, the president and writer of the Each day Information. He additionally runs one other paper, the Valley Occasions-Information, in neighboring Alabama. Each are a part of the Boone Newspapers chain.

The tariffs have been handed down by an administration that has taken a troublesome stance on commerce. President Donald Trump has accused America’s buying and selling companions of injuring financial development in the USA by unfair practices.

However the paper tariffs are additionally regular as a result of they have been advocated by one small firm in Washington state referred to as Northern Pacific Paper, or Norpac. The corporate employs a couple of hundred staff and is owned by One Rock Capital, a personal fairness agency in New York.

After the Commerce Division finalized its tariffs earlier this month, Norpac praised the choice and urged the Worldwide Commerce Fee to make the duties everlasting.

CEO Craig Anneberg stated in a press release on the time that the tariffs allowed Norpac to restart an idled paper machine and rent 60 staff, with one other 40 jobs to fill.

A Norpac spokesman stated the corporate anticipated to have extra to say as soon as the fee votes Wednesday. The corporate has beforehand stated that it merely needs to compete on “a degree taking part in area” with Canadian paper producers.

Opponents of the tariffs declare that defending Norpac places the roles of greater than 600,000 Individuals working in paper, newsprint and publishing in danger.

Newspaper publishers and business teams have been supported by dozens of members of Congress, together with 19 who testified earlier than the Worldwide Commerce Fee final month to push for the reversal of the tariffs.

A few of these lawmakers are additionally taking a look at different methods to search out reduction for the business. Senator Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, launched a invoice in Could that will droop the tariffs whereas the Commerce Division research the financial well-being of the US newsprint and publishing industries.

Her workplace stated Monday that the invoice has 31 co-sponsors, each Republicans and Democrats.

CNNMoney (New York) First printed August 28, 2018: 2:19 PM ET

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