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.