U.S. International Trade Commission overturns Canadian newsprint duties

U.S. International Trade Commission overturns Canadian newsprint duties

U.S. International Trade Commission overturns Canadian newsprint duties

The U.S. International Trade Committee (USITC) voted Wednesday to overturn President Donald J. Trump's tariffs on Canadian uncoated groundwood paper-newsprint-in a major win for newspapers across the country.

Norpac said the tariffs helped balance the playing field with subsidized Canadian companies.

On Wednesday, the ITC contradicted those findings, freeing newspapers from price spikes for newsprint in recent months that had gone as high as 30 percent. Others testified that the higher cost of newsprint had led newspapers to cut staffing and the number of local events that they cover.

The reaction is praised by Stop Tariffs on Printers and Publishers (STOPP) group in the US, arguing the tariffs increased expenses and forced layoffs.

Members of a coalition of printers and publishers hailed the ruling, calling it "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", Chavern said in a prepared statement.

The U.S. Commerce Department imposed anti-dumping and countervailing duties of various levels on Canadian producers including Resolute Forest Product, Catalyst Paper Corp., and Kruger Inc. earlier this year.

"Unfortunately, the damage to newspapers from preliminary tariffs imposed by the Department of Commerce since January has already been done".

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The tariffs would have become permanent if the ITC ruled there was material harm to other USA mills because of any breaks the Canadian mills were receiving from their government. The commission unanimously determined that no injury is occurring.

Mills have been hit as the newspaper industry endures a prolonged slump.

But the United States paper industry's trade organization failed to back the complaint, and the tariffs drew sharp criticism from newspaper publishers, lawmakers and others.

"We have emphasized that the decades-long shift of news and information from print to digital platforms - not imports from Canada - is the cause of the decline in demand for newsprint", Chavern said in a statement.

The newspaper industry had complained that the rising cost of newsprint, typically their second-biggest expense, made it harder to operate.

NORPAC, which said it had begun operating an idle press when the tariffs were imposed earlier this year, boosting its workforce to 400 people, said it was deeply disappointed with the ITC's final determination.

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