‘PRINT Act’ responds to recent tariffs on Canadian newsprint by Trump administration
By Joe Bachman
WASHINGTON — House policymakers have introduced a bill in attempts to stop the bleeding from rising newspaper print costs due to recent tariffs put on Canadian newsprint.
The bill, called the PRINT Act, (“Protecting Rational Incentives in Newsprint Trade Act of 2018) HR 6031, would suspend tariffs now being collected on Canadian paper until the Department of Commerce can finish a study on the capability of the US newspaper industry to take on the potential damage.
In short, the Trump administration’s recent tariffs on Canadian newsprint could have damaging effects on the newspaper industry as a whole. In some areas, these tariffs have already led to a spike in the cost of some local newspapers nationwide, and are even bound to affect local newspapers in Wisconsin, including this very publication.
According to National Newspaper Association President Susan Rowell in a recent statement:
“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.”
According to a story from the National Newspaper Association, Wisconsin-based Bliss Communications Vice President Tony Smithson warns that the industry could see an 8-10 percent jump in short-term production costs due to hikes in print.
“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 numbers are likely due by August by the International Trade Commission, after a July 17 hearing, as well as an additional meeting in September by the Commerce Department.
Current co-sponsors for this bill 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)
Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL)