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Tariffs on Canadian newsprint threatens U.S. news industry

Already in trouble with declining ad revenues, newspapers are facing a potentially disastrous blow over tariffs recently imposed on Canadian newsprint. The U.S. Commerce Department initiated the tariffs in response to a hedge fund-owned paper company in Washington state that claimed Canadian firms benefited from government subsidies. The tariffs would drive up the costs of production as much as 40 percent resulting in layoffs of reporters and less local news. (San Francisco Chronicle, April 16, 2018, by Ivan Moreno of the Associated Press)

News industry leader David Chavern, The Wilson Post, April 9, 2018, argues that demand for newsprint has been falling not because of unfair Canadian trade practices but from the general decline in ad revenues supporting print journalism. In this case the tariffs would reduce demand even more and result in lost jobs. “If the tariffs on Canadian newsprint are allowed to stand, we’re not only risking a centuries-old relationship with our neighbors to the north, but we’re putting our own U.S. news industry in jeopardy,” writes Chavern.

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