Print act would protect news industry from tariffs

Published 7:56 pm Friday, May 18, 2018

In an effort to protect printers and publishers from unwarranted tariffs, Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) introduced S. 2385, the Protecting Rational Incentives in Newsprint Trade Act of 2018, or the PRINT Act, according to a press release. Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W), 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.

Many local newspapers and printers that use uncoated groundwood paper have experienced price increases and a disruption in supply since preliminary countervailing and antidumping duties were assessed earlier this year. Even as the Commerce Department investigation is ongoing, the duties are already being collected on imports, causing immediate economic harm to printers and publishers. A final Commerce Department decision is expected Aug. 2.

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The new PRINT Act legislation would pause both the preliminary and any final duties while the Department completes its study.

News Media Alliance President & CEO David Chavern said, “We are grateful that Senator King, Senator Collins and the original co-sponsors of the bill showed leadership and stepped up to protect small publishers in local communities across America.”