ASNE joins STOPP Coalition opposing imposition of paper tariffs

ASNE is pleased to announce that it has joined fellow journalism and publishing organizations, such as Association of Alternative Newsmedia, Association of American Publishers, National Newspaper Association and the News Media Alliance, as well as representatives from the paper supply, printing and distributing industries, as part of the Stop Tariffs on Printers and Publishers (STOPP) Coalition. These groups have joined together in opposition to a possible tariff on the importation of uncoated groundwood paper from Canada, which is the subject of a current proceeding at the United States Department of Commerce. The Coalition members believe this is an unnecessary tariff that would have a significant impact on the news industry.

“The Department of Commerce should say 'NO' to NORPAC because this tariff appears to be completely unnecessary to its operations but will have a significant impact on several industries, including the news media,” said ASNE President Alfredo Carbajal, editor of Al Dia at the Dallas Morning News. “A possible increase of even 4 percent in the cost of paper will have a major effect on the bottom line of newspapers across the country. Our members will once again be asked to reallocate resources, shift coverage and perhaps even lay people off. The people in our local communities ultimately will be the ones who suffer for no good reason.”
The Department of Commerce proceeding began after a Pacific Northwest-based paper mill (NORPAC) alleged that Canadian imports of groundwood paper are being subsidized or “dumped” into the United States, allowing Canadian companies to sell their products at a rate below the major U.S. paper suppliers. The International Trade Commission found in September that there is a “reasonable indication of injury or threat of injury.” Despite the fact that this is a rather weak recommendation as to the need for action, the Department of Commerce made a preliminary determination on Dec. 8 that a duty should be assessed on these paper imports in an amount between 4 percent and 9.9 percent with an average of 6.53 percent. The STOPP Coalition will try to explain to Commerce why this duty is unnecessary and, in fact, quite detrimental, because of the impact the increased cost of paper will have
on newspapers and other industries. 

You can lend your voice to this effort by letting the public, the Department of Commerce, the International Trade Coalition and Congress know why this tariff is a bad idea. We have attached a set of talking points created by the STOPP Coalition to assist you in this endeavor. You can also contact ASNE Legal Counsel Kevin M. Goldberg at 703-812-0462 or if you need additional information.