Author Archive for Jennifer Hanks

STOPP STATEMENT ON U.S. INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION’S RULING TO REVERSE THE NEWSPRINT TAX

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Stop Tariffs on Printers & Publishers (STOPP), a coalition of printers, publishers, retailers, paper suppliers and distributors, today welcomed the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) decision to terminate duties currently being applied to uncoated groundwood paper, or newsprint, imports from Canada and issued the following statements:

“Today is a great day for American journalism. The ITC’s decision will help to preserve the vitality of local newspapers and prevent additional job losses in the printing and publishing sectors,” said David Chavern, president and CEO, News Media Alliance. “The end of these unwarranted tariffs means local newspapers can focus once again on playing a vital role in our democracy by keeping citizens informed and connected to the daily life of their communities.”

The U.S. Department of Commerce imposed anti-dumping and countervailing duties on uncoated groundwood paper made in Canada in response to a petition filed by North Pacific Paper Company (NORPAC), a paper mill located in Longview, Washington. Following an in-depth investigation, the ITC rejected NORPAC’s claim that it was facing injury from alleged unfair trade practices by Canada. The ITC’s ruling that U.S. newsprint producers were not materially harmed by subject imports from Canada effectively puts an end to protective tariffs that the Commerce Department imposed earlier this year and revised just this month.

“From the start, we knew this tax on newsprint would immediately harm commercial printing companies, book printers, service companies, equipment suppliers and ultimately, consumers,” said Michael Makin, president and CEO, Printing Industries of America. “After analyzing the facts, the ITC has issued the right decision to protect American jobs across the country. Small businesses that are part of the printing industry can breathe a sigh of relief.”

Newsprint used by U.S. newspapers and commercial printers consists of two-thirds of uncoated groundwood paper. The spike in the cost of paper prompted harm across the industry − and forced many local newspapers to scale back reporting and reduce the number of editions they publish. The tariffs also repressed demand by small businesses that use printed advertising inserts and flyers to reach customers.

In the face of the threat to 600,000 American jobs in the newspaper, retail, printing and publishing industries, a broad and diverse coalition pursued all available avenues to advocate that public officials help put an end to the tariffs, including a petition signed by more than 11,000 Americans from all 50 states. Roughly 150 Members of Congress expressed opposition to the tariffs with letters to key Administration officials, testimony delivered before the ITC, or co-sponsorship of legislation in the House and Senate. In addition, Both the Teamsters and the Communication Workers of America wrote letters opposing the tariffs, along with many others.

Learn more about STOPP’s campaign to #StoptheNewsprintTax here.

 

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STATEMENT ON U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE’S FINAL NEWSPRINT COUNTERVAILING AND ANTIDUMPING DECISION

WASHINGTON–Stop Tariffs on Printers & Publishers (STOPP), a coalition of printers, publishers, retailers, paper suppliers and distributors today released the following statements regarding the U.S. Department of Commerce’s final determination on uncoated groundwood paper imports from Canada.

“These import duties on newsprint have already caused job losses in the printing and publishing sectors and have resulted in decreased news coverage in local communities,” said David Chavern, president and CEO, News Media Alliance. “Although this is a step in the right direction, the reduced rates only lessen the pace at which the tariffs are harming the industry. We hope that the International Trade Commission will entirely reverse these misguided tariffs at the end of the month.”

Newsprint used by U.S. newspapers and commercial printers consists of two-thirds of uncoated groundwood paper. This claim was filed by North Pacific Paper Company (NORPAC), a single paper mill located in Longview, Washington, owned by a New York private equity firm. NORPAC is an outlier−the rest of the U.S. paper industry opposes the tariffs due to the deep and lasting harm to the industry’s primary customers−newspapers, book publishers and printers.

“We appreciate Commerce’s slight reduction in tariffs; however, commercial printing companies, book printers, suppliers and consumers will still pay a price with increased costs and less business, which will hurt our member companies, their employees, and ultimately U.S. newsprint manufacturers. We hope the International Trade Commission will reverse this tax on paper,” said Michael Makin, president and CEO, Printing Industries of America.

“Readers in our towns will welcome the news that their local newspapers are in a little less in jeopardy from devastating tariffs. We appreciate the Commerce Department’s more careful review of the paper markets. But this use of trade laws to weaken our economies still puts communities at risk of losing their local newspapers. We are extremely disappointed to find that the federal government wants to permanently add a tax to our burden when so many publishers are already challenged to deliver the news to their towns. We hope the International Trade Commission better appreciates the gravity of this situation,” said Susan Rowell, president of National Newspaper Association and publisher of the Lancaster (SC) News.

A broad and diverse chorus continues to grow in opposition to the newsprint tariffs that threaten the jobs of 600,000 American workers in the newspaper, retail, printing and publishing industries.

  • More than 11,000 Americans, from all 50 states, have registered their opposition in a petition delivered to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).
  • Nineteen members of Congress testified before the ITC on July 17. In addition, five Congressional Members and three state delegations submitted letters and comments.
  • Both the Teamsters and the Communication Workers of America have written letters opposing the tariffs, along with many others.
  • More than 100 members of the U.S. House and Senate from across the political spectrum have written letters objecting to these tariffs.
  • Nearly one-third of U.S. Senators have co-sponsored 2835 requesting the U.S. Department of Commerce to pause the tariffs for an impact study.
  • Support for the like House legislation R. 6031 continues to grow with 36 co-sponsors.

In total, approximately 150 Members of Congress have shown opposition with either a call, letter or co-sponsoring legislation.

There are numerous examples of how the tariffs are already harming the U.S. news, printing and publishing industries. If the tariffs continue, many local community newspapers will continue to cut back on the number of distribution days, reduce print pages or cease printing operations. Advertisers, with no room to expand budgets, will continue to reduce advertising inserts. And these decisions will cause a ripple effect throughout the supply chain, affecting paper manufacturers, ink suppliers, fuel producers, equipment manufacturers and others.

In some cases, tariffs help U.S. producers. However, these tariffs have exacerbated the decades-long decline in newsprint demand, financially harming U.S. newsprint producers. A study, undertaken by Charles River Associates (CRA) on behalf of STOPP Coalition members the News Media Alliance and Quad Graphics, was submitted to the ITC in advance of the hearing on Tuesday, July 17. CRA analyzed the impact the tariffs will have on newspapers and printers. They found that:

  • Newsprint prices are projected to increase by more than 30 percent or more than $190 per metric ton for newsprint;
  • Consumers, including newspapers and printers, will pay an increased cost of roughly a half a billion dollars for newsprint;
  • Demand from U.S. producers for newsprint will drop more than 300,000 metric tonnes;  and,
  • An estimated loss of more than 250 U.S. newsprint jobs could follow a short spike in employment.

The ITC will conclude its final investigation in the coming weeks with a vote scheduled on August 29 to affirm or reverse the tariffs.

“It is truly unfortunate that the Department of Commerce chose not to fully recognize the impact that these tariffs will have – indeed already are having – on our members and other community-focused newspapers. AAN members are not just concerned, but scared, about their ability to print their newspapers and inform their readers about matters of local concern. Many have already been informed that printing costs will increase, which translates into fewer employees, fewer pages or, worse, inability to publish entirely.  We hope that the International Trade Commission will recognize the urgency of this situation and go a step further by significantly reducing or entirely eliminating these tariffs when it acts later this year,” said Molly Willmott, President, Association of Alternative Newsmedia.

“We are very disappointed that the Department of Commerce, in offering only a slight reduction in the overall tariffs, continues to prioritize the interest of a few ahead of the needs of many – namely the employees of printers, publishers, paper suppliers and distributors across the United States and the citizenry they ultimately help to inform. We in the newspaper industry exist to serve our readers; this decision will make our jobs harder, in part because we know we will be able to employ fewer people to do those jobs. We sincerely hope the International Trade Commission will fully eliminate these tariffs,” said Alfredo Carbajal, President, American Society of News Editors.

“Notwithstanding the small adjustments announced today, the Association for Printing Technologies stands with its colleagues in the printing, publishing and paper industries in opposing the continued harmful imposition of anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Canadian UGW paper by the Department of Commerce, and implores the International Trade Commission to end the ongoing damage of these debilitating tariffs by finding against their imposition,” said Mark J. Nuzzaco, Vice President, Government Affairs for the Association for Print Technologies.

Learn more about STOPP’s campaign to #StoptheNewsprintTax here.

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Economic Study Finds Newsprint Tariffs Will Raise Costs for Consumers, Harm U.S. Paper Producers

A study undertaken by Charles River Associates (CRA) on behalf of STOPP Coalition members, the News Media Alliance and Quad Graphics, analyzed the impact tariffs on Canadian newsprint will have on newspapers and printers.

The CRA analysis found that:

  • Newsprint prices are projected to increase by more than 30 percent or more than $190 per metric ton for newsprint;
  • Consumers, including newspapers and printers, will pay an increased cost of roughly a half a billion dollars for newsprint;
  • Demand from U.S. producers for newsprint will drop more than 300,000 metric tonnes; and,
  • An estimated loss of more than 250 U.S. newsprint jobs could follow a short spike in employment.

The author of the report, Dr.  Peter Boberg, Vice President in the Antitrust and Competition Economics Practice at CRA, summarized the findings by saying, “the immediate effect of the tariffs will be to raise prices substantially. The effect of higher prices initially will be to raise costs for consumers of newsprint (printers and publishers), thereby accelerating the downward spiral in demand for newspapers and consequently accelerating the decline in demand for newsprint. Higher prices will also provide an incentive for Canadian suppliers that face low individual tariff rates to increase their exports into the US. As a result, whereas the immediate effects of the tariffs on US output may be to increase US output, as US consumers and Canadian producers adjust to higher US prices, any gains to US producers will quickly evaporate. Tariffs will ultimately harm US producers by reducing demand for their output below pre-tariff levels.”

The study filed with the International Trade Commission on Tuesday, July 17 is available here. Business proprietary information has been redacted in this public version.

Impact of Newsprint Tariffs Felt Across the Country

There are numerous examples of how the tariffs are already harming newspapers across the country. If the tariffs continue, many local community newspapers will continue to cut back on the number of distribution days, reduce print pages or cease printing operations. The future of local newspapers, read by millions of Americans in all 50 states are in jeopardy as a result of the newsprint tariffs.

Examples like the below will only continue to grow.

NEWSPAPERS CUT JOBS

Florida

The Tampa Bay Times reduces jobs due to tariffs
http://thehill.com/homenews/media/383879-tampa-bay-times-to-lay-off-dozens-of-staff-in-response-to-trump-tariffs

NEWSPAPERS CUT PUBLICATION DAYS

Colorado

The (Grand Junction) Daily Sentinel reduces printing from 7 to 5 days
https://www.gjsentinel.com/news/western_colorado/paper-prices-trigger-changes-to-the-sentinel/article_52b13218-87f4-11e8-9b2b-10604b9ffe60.html

Georgia

The LaGrange Daily News will change print publication days to Tuesday through Saturday, no longer producing a Monday printed edition.

https://www.lagrangenews.com/2018/08/21/ldn-to-stop-printing-monday-edition/

Kentucky

Three newspapers in Kentucky cut Monday from weekly print editions.
https://www.state-journal.com/2018/08/10/steve-stewart-state-journal-adapts-secures-its-future/

Maryland

The Star Democrat cuts Monday print production.
https://www.stardem.com/spotlight/star-democrat-to-launch-monday-e-edition/article_ea96d48b-f7e9-54c7-ae41-623d39a696dc.html

The Cecil Whig cuts production down to two days a week.
https://www.cecildaily.com/business/whig-publishes-last-monday-print-edition/article_4f724bae-6df6-5f4d-8ae0-132e423ea82b.html

Minnesota

The West Central Tribune is cutting its Monday print edition.

http://wctrib.com/business/announcements/4485194-tribune-going-digital-mondays

Mississippi

The (Natchez) Democrat cutting printing from 7 to 5 days
http://irjci.blogspot.com/2018/06/newspapers-cut-back-as-newsprint.html

The Vicksburg Post cutting printing from 7 to 5 days
https://www.vicksburgpost.com/2018/06/24/vicksburg-post-reducing-print-publication-frequency/

Nevada

The Lahontan Valley News from 2 days to 1 day

The Nevada Appeal from 6 to 2 days

The Record-Courier from 3 to 2 days

The Tahoe Tribune from 3 to 1 day
https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/nevada/articles/2018-07-03/northern-nevada-area-newspapers-reducing-print-editions

North Carolina

The Salisbury Post will print five days a week.
https://apnews.com/10879f1a02604ed8a5b672adfab368f6

Ohio

The Athens Messenger eliminating the Saturday edition

https://www.athensmessenger.com/news_briefs/changes-coming-to-weekend-messenger-print-schedule/article_4d812b61-bb25-5e41-a354-4ffcf52d761a.html

Oklahoma

Perry Daily Journal from printing 6 to 4 days

The Shawnee News-Star cutting to 2 days per week until school resumes

Virginia

The Suffolk News-Herald will reduce the frequency of its print edition to five days a week.
https://www.suffolknewsherald.com/2018/08/07/news-herald-to-reduce-print-frequency/

NEWSPAPERS CUT SECTIONS OF THE PAPER

Mississippi

The Star-Herald will reduce a 20-page paper to a 16-page paper.
https://www.starherald.com/opinion/editorial-changes-coming-friday/article_21c32796-1eea-5167-b26c-f137f960bb26.html

North Carolina

The Robesonian cutting the Sunday comics
https://www.robesonian.com/news/113746/newspaper-drops-sunday-comics


NEWSPAPERS MOVE FROM PRINT TO DIGITAL 

Ohio

Madison Press goes digital
http://www.dispatch.com/business/20180711/madison-press-newspaper-in-london-to-drop-print-edition-publish-online-only

 


NEWSPAPERS CLOSE

Ohio

The Jackson County Times-Journal closed
https://ohionews.org/aws/ONA/pt/sd/news_article/179320/_self/layout_details/false

Minnesota

The Raymond News has closed.

Blooming Prairie Leader will be publishing its last issue soon.

 

Reps. Noem and Crist Introduce “PRINT” Act in House to Protect Publishers and Printers from Harmful Tariffs

Arlington, Va. – Rep. Kristi Noem, R-SD and Charlie Crist (D-FL) yesterday introduced legislation to suspend tariffs on Canadian imports of uncoated groundwood paper which includes newsprint used by newspapers, book publishers, printers and direct mail companies.

The legislation, H.R. 6031 – “Protecting Rational Incentives in Newsprint Trade Act of 2018” or “PRINT Act” – would temporarily halt both the preliminary and any final duties while the Department of Commerce (Commerce) completes its study on the economic health of the printing and publishing industries. The study would, among other things, examine whether the tariffs would harm local news coverage, reduce employment in the publishing and printing industries, or harm local businesses that advertise in local newspapers.

The House bill is identical to S.2835 that was introduced by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) in May. At introduction, the House measure was supported by the following original co-sponsors: Representatives Bill Flores (R-TX), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Randy Weber (R-TX), Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), Bruce Poliquin (R-ME), Glenn Grothman (R-WI), Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Jason Smith (R-MO).

Many local newspapers and printers have experienced price increases and a disruption in supply since preliminary countervailing and antidumping duties were assessed earlier this year. They have warned policymakers that the import tariffs – as high as 32 percent – would jeopardize the viability of the industry and threatens the over 600,000 U.S. workers in publishing, printing and related industries. The tariffs are being sought by one mill, North Pacific Paper Company, that is owned by a New York-based private equity firm.

“When the use of trade remedies threatens the jobs of hundreds of thousands of American workers, it bears asking if the cure is worse than the disease,” said Rep. Kristi Noem. “Each additional day these import taxes remain in place poses a threat to daily newspapers, printers, and the many small businesses that supply equipment and services to the publishing industry. We need to stem this damage immediately and gain a complete understanding of whether Canadian imports of newsprint are unfairly subsidized or pose a serious threat to U.S. paper producers.”

“An unnecessary trade war with some of our closest partners is already having real, negative consequences for our economy and the newspaper industry in particular. The Tampa Bay Times recently announced 50 employees would be laid off due to new tariffs – shrinking newsrooms at a time when thoughtful, credible reporting is needed most,” said Rep. Charlie Crist. “Newspapers are an integral part of our communities, employing our neighbors and keeping us informed. It’s encouraging to see bipartisan and bicameral support for protecting local news.”

The PRINT Act would:

  1. require a study by Commerce on the economic wellbeing, health and vitality of the newsprint industry and the local newspaper publishing industry in the U.S.;
  2. require a report from the Commerce Secretary to the President and Congress within 90 days that includes both the findings of the study and any recommendations the Secretary considers appropriate;
  3. pause any affirmative determination by the DOC or ITC (U.S. International Trade Commission) until the President certifies that he has received the report and has concluded that such a determination is in the economic interest of the United States; and
  4. halt the collection of cash deposits for uncoated groundwood imports currently under investigation at the Commerce Department until the President has made such certifications.

A final Commerce Department decision is expected on August 2. The ITC is conducting its final investigation in this case, which includes a public hearing on July 17, 2018. The Commission will reach a final determination in mid-September.

Because of the devastating impact of the tariffs on publishers, printers and other businesses, the legislation in the House and Senate has received widespread support from Stop Tariffs on Printing & Publishing (STOPP), a broad-based coalition representing the U.S. printing and publishing industries that was formed to fight these crippling tariffs.

Michael Makin, President & CEO, Printing Industries of America, stated, “The printing industry is constantly innovating and reinventing itself to stay competitive in the modern communications marketplace. Taxing our most essential raw material drags down the industry’s job creation, economic growth and future viability. PIA supports free and fair trade, but trade remedy laws are designed to help domestic industries – not to create an exponential number of domestic losers in the process. The PRINT Act is crucial to restoring a much-needed sense of sanity surrounding tariffs on uncoated groundwood paper.”

David Chavern, President & CEO, News Media Alliance, stated, “Publishers already face economic headwinds due to the migration of advertising from print to digital. We simply cannot absorb extra costs from import taxes. Newspapers will close or be forced to raise prices for readers and advertisers. We are already seeing some papers cut back on news distribution and cut jobs. These tariffs are killing jobs and high-quality news in local communities. We are grateful that Representatives Noem and Crist, and ten other House members, showed leadership and stepped up to protect small publishers in local communities across America.”

Susan Rowell, Publisher, Lancaster (SC) News and President, National Newspaper Association: “Good trade policy increases the job opportunities in America. Applying tariffs like a tax to industries simply to penalize struggling businesses does not enhance jobs. It takes opportunities away. On behalf of community newspapers, we believe the Department of Commerce must fully understand how irretrievable the damage to our publications and our towns would be if trade policy continues to force newsprint costs higher. If you want to silence a free press, take away the newsprint. That is what is happening now, and it is simply wrong. We applaud Representatives Noem and Crist for taking a bold step to protect newspapers.”

Alfredo Carbajal, President, American Society of News Editors: “ASNE thanks Representatives Noem and Crist for introducing the PRINT Act. The economic sting of the ongoing proceedings at the Department of Commerce and United States International Trade Commission is being felt by our members, some of whom will be laying off staff as newsprint costs increase. The impact of these layoffs may be permanent, even if the tariffs are reversed. Unfortunately, it is the public who will be impacted the most by these changes. The PRINT Act offers a reasonable solution, which prevents long-term impact on the public and press as the need for government action is assessed.”

Molly Willmott, President, Association of Alternative Newsmedia: “The Association of Alternative Newsmedia is proud to endorse the PRINT Act and thanks Representatives Noem and Crist for introducing this bill. Our members continue to serve their local communities via the distribution of print newspapers on a weekly basis. They are already being affected by increases in printing costs that have resulted from the proceedings initiated before the Department of Commerce. Unless action is taken now, there will be short and long-term effects on our members’ ability to inform their readers. The PRINT Act will help.”

Jim Fetherston, President, Book Manufacturers’ Institute: “Plain and simple, the tariffs and duties on uncoated groundwood paper are having a negative financial impact on American book manufacturers. Rather than protecting American jobs, they are having the opposite effect. Book publishers are moving production to China to avoid this extra cost. The BMI solidly supports the introduction of the PRINT Act.”

Mark J. Nuzzaco, Vice President, Government Affairs, Association for Print Technologies: “The Association for Print Technologies (APTechSM), formerly NPES, joins with its industry colleagues in endorsing the PRINT Act and commends the leadership of Representatives Noem and Crist. Support for free, fair trade along with the use of trade sanctions under U.S. law when necessary and appropriate are bedrock principles for APTech. But in this instance, the already-imposed countervailing and anti-dumping duties are misplaced and are harming a domestic industry rather than shielding it from unfair competition. The PRINT Act will provide a much-needed reprieve from the ongoing damage of these duties while all of the facts of the case are fully assessed.”

For more information about “Protecting Rational Incentives in Newsprint Trade Act of 2018,” click here.

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The STOPP Coalition is a group of associations representing printers, publishers, paper suppliers and distributors that represent mostly small businesses in local communities that employ more than 600,000 workers in the United States. We have joined together to fight proposed government tariffs on newsprint that have been initiated by petitions filed by a single newsprint mill, NORPAC, an outlier in the industry that is owned by a New York hedge fund, with no additional pulp or paper operations in the United States or globally. Information about the STOPP Coalition can be found at www.stopnewsprinttariffs.org.

STOPP Launches Campaign To Save Local Newspapers and Jobs

Stop Tariffs On Printers and Publishers (STOPP) launched a print and digital advertisement campaign today in Washington to bring light to potential additional job losses in the news and printing industries.

“Our members want to make sure decision makers understand the impact this case will have on over 600,000 jobs in the publishing and printing industries,” said Paul Boyle, senior vice president of public policy at the Arlington, Virginia-based News Media Alliance. “These tariffs have already had a disruptive impact on the news industry with increased costs, job loss and supply issues. We are doing everything we can to make sure that local newspapers do not become extinct.”

“It is critical for decision makers in Washington to be aware of how tariffs on newsprint and book print will hurt commercial printing companies all over the country,” said Lisbeth Lyons, vice president of government affairs at Printing Industries of America (PIA). “If higher newsprint prices and supply shortages force cutbacks in publishing and advertising, printers, along with the hundreds of manufacturing companies that produce graphic communications equipment, will suffer. PIA will fight for our member companies and to protect jobs across our industry.”

The News Media Alliance has conducted surveys which show that 70 percent of newspapers said they would have to take measures to cut their consumption and about 38 percent said they were looking at laying off workers. The International Trade Commission has a hearing scheduled for Tuesday, July 17. The U.S. Department of Commerce issued a preliminary decision and is already collecting import taxes of over 30 percent in some cases on Canadian newsprint.

Background: STOPP is a group of printers, publishers, paper suppliers and distributors that represent mostly small businesses in local communities that employ more than 600,000 workers in the United States. They have joined together to fight proposed government tariffs on newsprint that have been initiated by petitions filed by a single newsprint mill, NORPAC, an outlier in the industry that is owned by a New York private equity firm, with no additional pulp or paper operations in the United States or globally. The proposed tariffs will force STOPP’s member companies to cut jobs not only at newspapers, commercial printing, and book publishing operations, but throughout the supply chain, such as paper manufacturers, ink suppliers, fuel producers, and equipment manufacturers.

The Los Angeles Times – Canadian newsprint tariffs start to take a toll on U.S. newspaper industry

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Publishers coping with higher costs from tariffs on Canadian newsprint

Editorial: The Washington Post – Dispute Over Tariffs On Newsprint Is Costing Journalists Their Jobs

Congressional delegations from Florida, Missouri and New Mexico have written letters to the U.S. Government to object to the trade case. In addition, letters signed by over 50 elected officials, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Congressional members such as: Susan Collins, Angus King, Johnny Isakson, Ralph Norman, Liz Cheney, Kristi Noem, Brian Higgins among many others have also been sent. All letters available here.

Visit STOPP for additional information and a future petition.