McKinley Applauds Roll Back of Newsprint Tariffs

International Trade Commission Unanimously Votes to Remove Tariffs that Hurt Rural Newspapers

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Washington, August 29, 2018 | comments
Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E., (WV-1) issued the following statement in response to the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) unanimous vote to reverse an earlier decision to impose tariffs on newsprint imported from Canada. McKinley has been a leader on this issue in Congress; authoring letters in support of removing the tariffs and testifying before the ITC in July.
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Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E., (WV-1) issued the following statement in response to the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) unanimous vote to reverse an earlier decision to impose tariffs on newsprint imported from Canada. McKinley has been a leader on this issue in Congress; authoring letters in support of removing the tariffs and testifying before the ITC in July

“We’re encouraged by the decision to roll back these tariffs that were having a negative impact on the news industry, particularly in rural areas. The impact of the tariffs varied by paper, but as a whole they amounted to an estimated $421 million annual loss to the industry. Because of other factors, there are only five paper mills still operating in the United States, leaving most newspapers dependent on imported newsprint from Canada,” said McKinley.

“This is the case we made to the ITC and thankfully they listened. Now our nation’s dedicated newspapers can plan for the future without the threat of these job-killing tariffs looming overhead,” McKinley added.

“The efforts of Congressman McKinley were incredibly impactful and made a strong impression on the ITC Commissioners.  We sincerely thank him and his extraordinary team for helping to secure a fair and just outcome,” stated Seth Kursman, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Government Affairs and Sustainability for Resolute Forest Products.  

Click here to read an op-ed McKinley recently wrote on the issue.

Background
Following U.S. trade laws, the Commerce Department acted on NORPAC’s petition earlier this year and imposed preliminary tariffs on newsprint imported from Canada. These tariffs totaled approximately 30%. NORPAC’s petition centered on their complaint that subsidized Canadian newsprint is being dumped into America at low prices.

NORPAC is one of five paper mills still operating in the United States.
• These mills combined can only fulfill 34% of the nation’s newsprint demands.
• Three of those five mills are in Washington State.
• It’s economically inefficient to ship newsprint across the country.
• The rest of America’s newspapers rely on the two mills in the Southeast or Canada to fulfill their needs.

The impact these tariffs had on operational costs varied by newspaper:
• Ranges from 2 cents to 10 cents in increased paper costs per newspaper.
• According to the Pew Research Center, there are 33 million papers printed daily.
• Using a cost increase from the middle of the range at 3.5 cents, this amounts to a $421 million annual loss of revenue to the industry.

According to a recent survey of newspapers by the News Media Alliance:
• 46% said they likely will be reducing staff as their solution by an average of two and a half positions because of the tariffs.
• Newspapers had already been losing nearly 2,000 jobs per year.

The tariffs were poised to have a detrimental impact on West Virginia’s 19 daily and 54 weekly newspapers. For example:
• West Central Publishing in St. Marys, West Virginia saw their operating costs go up $18,600 annually.
• The Exponent Telegram in Clarksburg, West Virginia saw an increase of over $180,000. That’s the equivalent of four full-time position.

Click here to read an April 2018 letter from McKinley to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on the tariff issue.
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