Richmond – Both Senator Warner and Senator Kaine, as well as six Virginia congressmen sent a letter to the International Trade Commission (ITC) on Monday opposing tariffs on Canadian newsprint.
U.S. Representatives Beyer, Comstock, Connolly, Goodlatte. McEachin and Scott joined Warner and Kaine in expressing serious concerns about newsprint tariffs that are impacting Virginia newspapers. The letter was sent in advance of the ITC’s Tuesday hearing on the tariffs.
The tariffs – ranging as high as 32 percent – were levied earlier this year against Canadian imports of newsprint or uncoated groundwood paper (UGW) that is used by newspapers, book publishers and printers. These tariffs were the result of a petition filed by one paper mill, North Pacific Paper Company (NORPAC), which operates a small paper mill in Washington State.
The Virginia Press Association, in partnership with the News Media Alliance, the NNA and state press associations across the country, swung into action several months ago to fight these destructive tariffs. In June, VPA members Chad Harrison, Carol McCracken, Matt Paxton, Bruce Potter and Steve Stewart, along with VPA executive director Betsy Edwards and lobbyist Aimee
Perron Seibert, traveled to Washington, D.C. to lobby Virginia’s congressional delegation.
In May, at the urging of the News Media Alliance and the NNA, Senators Collins and King from Maine, proposed legislation – the PRINT Act – which seeks to suspend the tariffs until the U.S. Department of Commerce can review the financial health of the newspaper and printing industries. As of July 16th, 29 Senators and 29 Representatives had signed on as co-sponsors of the PRINT Act.
At Tuesday’s ITC hearing, 19 members of Congress testified in opposition to the preliminary tariffs and shared personal stories about how these taxes were negatively impacting newspapers in their districts and states. There were no members of Congress who testified in support of the tariffs.
Virginia newspapers have also joined the fight against tariffs by publishing editorials in opposition which provide the real-life consequences these tariffs will have on small and large newspapers across the Commonwealth.
While the newspaper industry made a strong showing at Tuesday’s ITC hearing, the fight is not over. The period for submitting comments to the ITC will close on August 20, and the commission will vote on this case on August 28th.
If you are interested in helping us solicit additional comments from members of Congress before the August 20 deadline, writing an editorial in opposition or joining the fight against the tariffs in some other way – contact Betsy Edwards at 804-521-7584 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Op-Eds against newsprint tariffs from around Virginia:
- Bristol Herald Courier: “Tariffs on newsprint will hurt newspapers”
- Culpeper Star Exponent: “New tariffs on Canada will mean less newspapers”
- 10 News (Lexington): “Newsprint tariffs could affect local newspapers”
- Danville Register and Bee: “Tariffs Are Trump’s Hidden Tax Increase”
- Farmville Herald: “Newsprint Shortage”
- Richmond Times-Dispatch: “RTD Publisher Tom Silvestri: Help us protect local journalism and fight back against unnecessary newsprint tariffs”
- Free Lance-Star: “FROM THE PUBLISHER: Tariffs on newsprint threaten viability of newspapers”