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PIA Responds to Tariff Announcements on Uncoated Groundwood Paper; Monitoring Industry Impact of Potential Aluminum Tariffs

Posted Wednesday, March 21, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

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In response to the announcement by the Department of Commerce regarding preliminary anti-dumping duties on Canadian imports of Uncoated Groundwood (UGW) Paper, Printing Industries of America President and CEO Michael Makin made the following statement:

“Yesterday, the Department of Commerce announced preliminary anti-dumping duties of up to 22.16 percent on Canadian imports of Uncoated Groundwood (UGW) Paper. This is compounded by preliminary countervailing duties averaging 6.5 percent on the same product announced in January. These tariffs will negatively impact paper used for newsprint, directories, book publishing, and advertising circulars, raising costs for production and, ultimately, print customers. In an industry in which it is difficult to absorb forced cost increases, the effect will likely be less production, fewer pages printed, a faster shift to digital content of news and books, and more diversion of advertising from print to electronic platforms.

All of this havoc has been caused by one company in the paper industry filing a trade remedy case alleging unfair trade practices by Canada. The majority of U.S. newsprint manufacturers, the trade associations representing the industry, and U.S. customers oppose the trade petition on UGW paper.

Demand for newsprint has declined by 75 percent in North America since 2000 due to electronic diversion and change of customer reading habits, not because of unfair competition. PIA believes firmly in the power of print to deliver news and information, and its member companies work daily to innovate and maintain print’s relevance in today’s world of multi-channel communication delivery. Tariffs on Canadian UGW paper will unnecessarily burden printing companies and their customers with cost headaches while forcing alternatives to print.

PIA and its allies in the Stop Tariffs on Printers and Publishers (STOPP) Coalition have gone directly to the Department of Commerce and Capitol Hill to make the case opposing tariffs on UGW paper imported from Canada and will continue to urge the Trump Administration to reject this trade case in light of the harmful impact such tariffs will have on a key segment of the American manufacturing economy.”

Additionally, Makin made the following statement regarding the recently announced Trump Administration policy on imported steel and aluminum:

“Promoting job growth in domestic manufacturing is at the core of PIA’s mission and we appreciate President Trump highlighting the importance of the manufacturing sector and its workers. However, there are 800,000 jobs associated with the U.S. printing industry and PIA’s first and foremost goal is to ensure the companies that provide those jobs are able to purchase equipment—including printing plates made of aluminum—without higher production costs associated with potential tariffs. PIA is closely monitoring the details of the recently announced steel and aluminum tariff to determine potential negative impact on printing facilities, possible exemptions for key components of printing equipment, and other aspects of the tariff case as the specifics of the policy unfold.”

A video statement from Michael Makin in response to the announcement can be found Here. Mr. Makin is also available for further interview.