How many are familiar with all of the various tariffs already just put in place and some that have already taken affect?

How many are familiar with all of the various tariffs already just put in place and some that have already taken affect?

Yeah, it’ all a bit confusing and discombobulated, but there is one tariff in particular newsrooms across the country are both furious and petrified hoping it doesn’t come to fruition.

Newspapers have had some tough blows over recent years. Most newsrooms are working with a lack of staff, but we are still doing our best to get things covered.

But, this, this could wipe us all out.

The North Pacific Paper Company, which a New York hedge fund, One Rock Capital Partners bought in 2016, petitioned for the tariffs, arguing that Canadian companies had an unfair advantage. NORPAC, which employs about 300 people, is the only U.S. paper producer making that argument, according to NBC news.

The CEO of NORPAC was quoted, “While our company understands the concerns recently surfaced by some newspaper publishers, which also face a challenging marketplace, we strongly disagree with the notion that their industry requires low-priced, subsidized newsprint from Canada to sustain their own business model. Craig Annenberg went on to say, “High-quality journalism in communities across the country should not depend on unfairly traded inputs that cause material injury to a U.S. industry and American jobs.”

Okay, Craig, all due respect, but let’s slow our roll here.

You obviously have no idea what newspapers are currently facing. You are welcome to strongly disagree with the notion that our industry requires low-priced, subsidized newsprint from Canada to sustain our newspapers, but quite frankly you have no clue what you are talking about.

Most people aren’t aware the monies from subscriptions doesn’t translate into revenue for us. That money goes directly to the cost of publishing. Our revenue comes from paid advertising and paid advertising only.

So, yeah, Craig, you missed the mark on that one.

I can’t even understand how he had the gall to say newspapers utilizing publishing materials from Canada because it is cheaper is causing material injury to a U.S. industry and American jobs.

Again, slow down, Buddy.

Journalists are faced with the loss of thousands and thousands of jobs if this continues, so what about us?

Do we not count because we’re members of the ‘stupid’ media?

NBC also reported there are currently five operating mills in the United States. Three are in Washington State, with one of them partly owned by a Canadian company. Canada owns the remaining two in Georgia and Mississippi.

Publishers across the nation say Canadian imports are not the reason for the decline of U.S.-based paper mills, but rather a 75 percent drop in newsprint consumption over the last two decades. That has led mills to switch to more profitable products.

Vice President of printing operations at Bliss Communications, Tony Smithson noted even if every paper mill in the U.S. operated at full capacity, they still would only be able to produces about 60 percent of the newsprint consumed in the country. Further, he said, that raises another concern, a scarcity of available newsprint Canadian producers decide to ship to other countries to avoid the new tariffs, “The hidden danger is in availability.”

Smithson’s group owns multiple newspapers and radio stations in Wisconsin. The newsprint the company buys all comes from Canada.

Before a final decision on tariffs is made, publishers can still make their case with the International Trade Commission, which has a hearing slated for July 17. ITC has the power to reject the tariffs, but Smithson isn’t optimistic, “If you think about it politically, once tariffs are in place, they’re essentially permanent. There’s no political capital in making a tariff go away because then you put a target on yourself that says, ‘Hey this is political issue is getting rid of American jobs.’”

Let’s hope in this case Smithson is wrong. Local newspapers are an essential part of any community. There is so much at stake if this takes place; perhaps one of the few things the newspaper industry won’t be able to bounce back from.