We made a giant leap forward Thursday in easing the pain of newsprint tariffs. The U.S. Commerce Department today significantly lowered the tariffs that would apply to Canadian paper.
Today’s news is not a final outcome. A determination from the International Trade Commission is still needed before tariffs become permanent.
Letter from Susan Rowell, NNA president
You will recall that there were two separate accusations from NORPAC. Canadian producers were accused of “dumping” paper at less than fair value. The preliminary assessment was 22 percent. Today’s decision eliminated that tariff entirely for all producers but Catalyst, whose margin is now 16.88 percent.
Canadian producers were also accused of receiving various government subsidies. The preliminary tariffs were set at an average of 6.35 percent. Today, DOC lowered these percentages for some, and raised them for some. The determination on this part of the case is: Catalyst, 3.38 percent; Kruger,9.53 percent; Resolute, 9.81 percent and White Birch Paper, .082 percent. A rate of 8.54 percent was set for all others. When combined with the anti-dumping margins, they produce overall lower impacts for the total market.
These are extremely complex investigations and include such seemingly innocuous elements as weighing the value of road improvements and insect infestation studies provided by Canadian governments. We have grown in our appreciation of the challenges in trade law from this case.
On Aug. 28, the ITC will vote on whether these tariffs will apply and this case will wrap up by Sept. 17. ITC cannot raise or lower these numbers. Simply stated, it votes them in or out.
Our incoming president, Andrew Johnson, testified before the ITC. He explained why the tariffs would be harmful and urged ITC to reject them.
You and all of our colleagues have made a massive effort to persuade policymakers that this decision MUST have the right outcome. Together, we have prompted statements of support from more than 150 members of Congress, labor unions, state governments and others. Ten-thousand members of the public have signed a petition opposing the tariffs, and more are being added every day.
I am writing to say we are making a difference. We are not yet to the finish line, but I look forward to it with hope, and an unshakeable belief in the strength of our community newspapers.
Publisher, Lancaster (SC) News