Print tariffs? What print tariffs? That’s the puzzled question posed to me each time I mention one of the unknown tariffs that will hurt American businesses directly and indirectly.
This proposed tariff has received little or no coverage on your TV news broadcast and is not well-known outside of regular newspaper readers, but this tariff will impact small businesses that rely on uncoated groundwood paper coming from Canada – newspapers, magazines, book publishers, printers that make products from playbills and yearbooks to church bulletins to scores of other businesses that in turn serve these small businesses.
Most publications, including Tahoe Weekly, are printed on groundwood paper, which is made from wood pulp. About 60 percent of this paper comes from Canada, and there are only a handful of paper mills in the United States that even produce this type of paper.
Earlier this year, North Pacific Paper Company, a paper mill in Washington state that employs 300 people and is owned by a New York private equity firm levied a claim that Canada was “dumping” paper in the United States and the Commerce Department reacted by levying duties that total 30 percent. The cost of paper, of course, went up.
As the Commerce Department prepares to make a final decision around Labor Day, publishers across the country are looking at 32 percent print tariffs to be imposed. Publishers have reacted with layoffs at newspapers ranging from small weeklies and dailies across the country up to larger newspapers like the Tampa Bay Times.
At Tahoe Weekly, we’ve had to make cuts to meet this attack on the publishing industry by cutting our summer fishing column, the charts we feature with local hiking and mountain biking trails, local boat ramps and public piers, kids activities and others, and cutting our Puzzles from two pages down to one. Fortunately, the Internet offers a limitless amount of publishing space, so readers will still find information on local beaches, disc golf courses, trails, boating information and much more at TheTahoeWeekly.com.
The decision from the Trump administration isn’t final and I’d urge everyone that reads the Tahoe Weekly or any publication or book, to write your legislator and oppose this tariff that will destroy publications across the country, and in turn tens of thousands of jobs. You can find more information and join the coalition representing U.S. publishing companies at stopnewsprinttariffs.org.