Bill introduced in U.S. Senate to protect newspapers from newsprint tariffs

Legislation was introduced earlier this week in the US Senate to suspend new tariffs currently being imposed on imported newsprint from Canada.

Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) are the sponsors of S. 2835, dubbed the “PRINT Act” after it’s more formal designation — “Protecting Rational Incentives in Newsprint Trade Act of 2018.”

In addition to suspending the tariffs, 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.

The Department of Commerce is investigating the assertions made in the petition for the tariffs filed by NORPAC, a hedge fund owned paper mill in Washington.

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 on August 2.

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

There are 10 co-sponsors of the bill, including Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), 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).

CNPA and press associations across the country have been working with the News Media Alliance (NMA) and their respective congressional delegations to convince the Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to end the tariffs.

CNPA staff will participate in NMA’s Fly-in lobby day at the Capitol on June 14 to meet with key members of California’s congressional delegation to persuade them to support the PRINT legislation and the overall effort to repeal the harmful tariffs.

Read the News Media Alliance’s release about S. 2835.