There has been a lot happening as it relates to the newsprint tariff issue, and Illinois has played a prominent role in letting our voice be heard in D.C.
Earlier this month, a letter was sent to the ITC from the entire Illinois House delegation opposing the newsprint tariff. This spring, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross opposing tariffs on newsprint, as well.
The IPA conducted a survey in May that measured the impact of tariffs on member newspapers. This was replicated by many other press associations to make their respective cases against newsprint tariffs.
The Print Act, which calls for suspension of tariffs until the completion of an extensive study detailing the impact of tariffs on newsprint manufacturers and newspapers, was introduced in the Senate.
Rep. Rodney Davis, R-13, co-sponsored the companion House bill.
Illinois has been featured in national publications in the U.S., Canada and Germany. The Washington Post published a story that featured Illinois newspapers and the impact of tariffs; The Globe and Mail (Canada’s largest newspaper) featured the fact that Illinois has the full support of our congressional delegation; and Germany’s largest newspaper, Suddeutsche Zeitung, quoted me about the impact of tariffs.
Our challenge has been trying to spark a national discussion about our tariff issue, as it’s not received the same play as steel and aluminum tariffs.
Sadly, the tragic event in Annapolis has bought to the forefront the critical roles that newspapers play in their communities.
The ITC hearing is set for July 17. There will be testimony by both sides as it relates to the tariff issue. A final decision about tariffs will be made this fall, and it’s important to note that both the ITC and the Department of Commerce have to agree before the decision is final.
We have tried to do everything possible to fight these tariffs and I would like to express my thanks to everyone for their efforts. Our newspapers have written editorials, published stories and contacted their elected officials. It’s comforting to know that we have mobilized as an industry to tackle this issue.