Legislation to hit the brakes on damaging trade sanctions against newsprint was introduced this week in the U.S. House of Representatives by a bi-partisan coalition led by Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Rep. Charlie Crist, (D-FL.) The PRINT Act, HR 6031, would suspend tariffs now being collected on Canadian paper until the Department of Commerce completed a study on the capability of the US newspaper industry to absorb the hits.
National Newspaper Association president Susan Rowell, publisher of the Lancaster (SC) News, said: “I am delighted to join with others in our coalition to Stop the Tariffs on Printers and Publishers (STOPP) in thanking the sponsors of this bill. All over the nation, we are hearing from newspaper executives who are experiencing lasting damage to their news-gathering missions. The tariffs have already increased print production prices up to 30 percent this year in many areas, and smaller newspapers are being told they may not be able to purchase paper at all this summer as the market contracts in response to these sanctions. I believe many in Congress see how dire our situation is and they want to help.”
The bill’s initial co-sponsors are: Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX), Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC), Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX), Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), Rep. Bruce Poliquin (D-ME), Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI), and Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL)
The PRINT Act responds to two trade sanctions cases brought at the Department of Commerce and International Trade Commission last year alleging that Canadian newsprint suppliers are dumping paper at low prices into the US and have received unacceptable subsidies from their government. Preliminary action to institute tariffs at the border is common in trade cases. Final determinations are expected in August by the International Trade Commission, following a July 17 hearing, and in September by the Commerce Department. NNA has spoken out vigorously against the sanctions.