When tariffs get close to home (washingon times)

Talk about tariffs is raging in Washington, but too often the focus is solely on trade deficits and other geopolitical impacts of international trade relations. While those issues are important, they fail to take into account the impact tariffs have on every hometown in America.

Newsprint is a good example. Currently, U.S. consumers demand just over 3 million tons of newsprint each year in the form of newspapers, books and other print publications. However, the United States is barely able to supply 1 million tons of newsprint and must import the product from other countries, mainly Canada.

The Commerce Department imposed newsprint tariffs earlier this year at the urging of NORPAC, a single paper producer located in Washington State, but which is owned by an equity fund based in New York. NORPAC says it is being harmed by unfair trade practices by Canada, ignoring that a decades-long shift from print to digital is the well-documented culprit. Commerce’s solution is proving toxic to local newspapers, printers and even paper manufacturers — the very companies the tariffs are supposed to help.

Ultimately, if import duties on Canadian newsprint remain in place, citizens in all 50 states will receive less news and information about their local community; Main Street America could lose an important advertising channel; and thousands of Americans in the paper manufacturing, publishing, printing and retail industries could lose their jobs.

Over the last 15 years, dozens of local newspapers have shrunk, moved online or disappeared altogether as online platforms have grown. The new tariffs are exacerbating this trend. In the last couple of weeks, The Salisbury (N.C.) Post ceased publishing its Saturday and Monday print editions, in part to adjust to increases of up to 30 percent in the cost of paper. The Sentinel in Grand Junction, Colorado; the Natchez Democrat and the Vicksburg Post in Mississippi; and newspapers in Nevada, Georgia, Virginia, Kentucky and Nebraska have all cut some editions.

Other newspapers have decided to cut sections or features. This summer, the Madison Press in Ohio was forced to halt its print editions altogether. Even some of the larger, regional dailies are struggling to cope. For example, The Tampa Bay Times announced this spring it was forced to cut 50 newsroom jobs.
more at source: https://amp.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/aug/21/tariffs-threaten-local-newspapers-main-street-amer/?__twitter_impression=true

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