The Department of Commerce released its final determination on newsprint tariffs yesterday. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the relief on these tariffs that we had all hoped. There was a decrease for some of the mills that had the largest tariffs; however, Resolute saw their tariff more than double.
Only Catalyst was found to have dumped paper at less than fair value (AD duties), all other Canadian producers were found to not have dumped newsprint.
When it comes to the duties that were determined based upon Canadian government subsidies (CV duties) most tariffs were lowered except Resolute, which was raised from 4.42 percent to 9.81 percent.
In its release, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross stated that it was a complicated and unique case, but he felt the decision was the culmination of an open and transparent process which ensured a full and fair assessment of the specific facts of this case.
It’s clear that this administration has no idea of the impact on our newspapers and the communities they serve.
The International Trade Commission is expected to vote on the issue on August 28, although we may not know their decision until the middle of September. The ITC can only decide to whether the tariffs are warranted, but have no power to raise or lower the rates just announced yesterday by Commerce. If the ITC determines that no harm was done to U.S. newsprint producers, then all the tariffs go away. Both Commerce and the ITC have to agree for the preliminary tariffs to become permanent.
Both the House and Senate have introduced the Print Act. This legislation calls for the suspension of tariffs until a thorough investigation can be conducted to study the impact of tariffs to all parties, not just U.S. producers of newsprint. We are attempting to get more of our Illinois delegation to sign on as co-sponsors. Presently Rodney Davis (R-IL) has already singed on a sponsor.
We will continue to monitor the tariff situation and encourage our members to keep the pressure on by contacting the legislators and writing editorials about the impact of tariffs.