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US to charge up to 22 percent tariff on Canadian newsprint

Staff Reports • Updated Mar 20, 2018 at 11:00 AM

The cost of newsprint is about to rise drastically following a Trump administration decision to increase tariffs on the paper that’s imported from Canada. 

The Commerce Department announced a preliminary determination in an antidumping duty investigation of imports of uncoated groundwood paper from Canada. 

That class of paper includes newsprint, as well as paper for printing and book publishing.

The Commerce Department said it determined exporters from Canada have sold uncoated groundwood paper in the U.S. between zero and 22.16 percent less than fair value, down from the estimated dumping margins alleged by the petitioner of 23.45 percent to 54.97 percent. The petitioner is North Pacific Paper Co. in Washington state.

As a result of the March 13 decision, “Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from importers of uncoated groundwood paper from Canada based on these preliminary rates,” according to a release from the department.

Commerce is scheduled to announce the final determination in the investigation around Aug. 2. U.S. authorities will start collecting cash deposits immediately from Canadian importers based on the preliminary duty rate, CNHI News Service reported.

If Commerce makes affirmative final determinations of dumping and the U.S. International Trade Commission makes an affirmative final injury determination, Commerce will issue an antidumping duty order. If Commerce makes a negative final determination of dumping or the ITC makes a negative final determination of injury, the investigation will be terminated, and no order will be issued.

“The announcement today means that publishers and commercial printers will feel more pain in the months ahead, and more than 600,000 jobs across the printing and publishing industry will be threatened,” News Media Alliance president David Chavern said in a statement. 

“Most newspapers will not be able to absorb these increased costs and will be forced to reduce page counts, reduce days of distribution and/or move more information to digital platforms. Some small-market or rural newspapers with slim margins will close. Ironically, the supposed beneficiary of duties on Canadian newsprint imports – U.S. newsprint mills – will be harmed as tariffs will artificially decrease the demand for their product.”

The statement called on Congress and the ITC to reject the tariffs and “protect American jobs in printing and publishing and U.S. paper production.”

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