Reversal of International Trade Commission Policy on Paper Tariffs
Canadian Imports of Uncoated Groundwood Paper
[ORMOND BEACH, FL—August 29, 2018] The Book Manufacturers’ Institute (BMI), Stop Tariffs on Printers & Publishers (STOPP), and other stakeholders in the print media industry are celebrating the end to tariffs imposed on Canadian manufacturers of newsprint by the Trump Administration. A statement published on the International Trade Commission’s website explains the overturning of this rule: “A U.S. industry is not materially injured or threatened with material injury by reason of imports of uncoated groundwood paper from Canada that the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) has determined are subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.”
BMI Executive Director, Matt Baehr, and President, Jim Fetherston, met with industry leaders and members of Congress in June 2018 to make the case that tariffs were unnecessary and should not be applied to Canadian uncoated groundwood paper stock, as doing so would have a significant negative impact on the entire supply chain. Their position was based on the understanding that the assertion that Canadian paper inventory was being subsidized and dumped into the U.S. market came from a single entity, and that the overall decline in groudwood paper sales is the result of other market forces and not an international trade issue.
In response to the announcement, Matt Baehr said, “BMI member companies and our colleagues in the STOPP coalition campaigned hard to protect American businesses—and American jobs. We’re relieved that the ruling body found no evidence of ‘dumping,’ and that the claims made by the North Pacific Paper Co. were unfounded.”
Jim Fetherston added, “I’m incredibly proud of the great work done by so many in the industry. Today’s announcement overturning the Commerce Department’s initial ruling is a shining example of what small- and medium-sized businesses can accomplish when effectively collaborating to exact change.”
The STOPP platform was supported by 72 paper companies, trade associations, and service providers with a shared concern about the potential for unnecessary duties to inflict irrevocable harm to businesses and jobs around the U.S., including those in journalism, retail, manufacturing, shipping, and other sectors.
Their message, often shared with the hashtag #StoptheNewsprintTax, included support of the Protecting Rational Incentives in Newsprint Trade Act of 2018 (PRINT Act), the collection of more than 11,000 signatures from all 50 states petitioning the federal government to reverse course on the paper tariffs earlier this year, documenting the impact on newsrooms around the country in real time—from cutting the issues being published to moving their journalism online to closing up shop completely.