The International Trade Commission (ITC) has released a unanimous 5-0 ruling determining that antidumping and countervailing tariffs on Canadian imports of uncoated groundwood paper did not cause material harm to the U.S. paper industry, and has nullified them.
This decision comes after Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) and several other Members of Congress from New York wrote a letter urging the ITC and the US Department of Commerce to reconsider the severe negative impact the tariffs would have on the newspaper industry. Higgins later went before the ITC at a hearing on the issue, at which he testified: “Newspapers are unique in comparison to other mediums in that they are the most cited source citizens use for news about their local town or city, arts and culture, or schools and education. This is why I am concerned about the imposition of duties on newsprint that this petition would result in.”
The tariffs, which had initially been imposed in January and increased in March, reached as high as 32 percent, before being lowered to slightly over 20 percent by the Commerce Department in early August.
In a release announcing their decision, the ITC stated that the “U.S. industry is not materially injured or threatened with material injury by reason of imports of uncoated groundwood paper from Canada”, going on to say “As a result of the USITC’s negative determinations, no antidumping or countervailing duty orders will be issued on imports of this product from Canada.”
Following the decision, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) stated “The ITC’s decision to reverse the Canadian newsprint tariffs is great news for hometown newspapers in Western New York and nationwide. We had urged the ITC and Commerce from the beginning to reconsider these ill-advised and harmful tariffs, and their unanimous finding confirms that there was not sufficient cause to implement them.”
A survey conducted by the News Media Alliance regarding the tariffs found that New York newspapers would suffer increased costs averaging more than $200,000, resulting in 70% of those surveyed cutting their news coverage to make up those costs imposed by the tariffs.