Editorial: Newspapers face damaging paper tariff

Staff Reports • Updated Jan 11, 2018 at 2:00 PM

The viability of local newspapers, including the one you are reading now, is under challenge by an unnecessary tariff on the import of uncoated groundwood paper from Canada – the type used to print this newspaper and others across our state.

Simply put, newspapers cannot absorb the additional financial burden this duty will create. It’s based on a dubious complaint from a single paper mill and was just announced by the U.S. Department of Commerce. 

If fully implemented, the resulting hardship could lead to thousands of job losses in the newspaper industry. We are at an important juncture right now, and our role of getting real news to you on a daily or weekly basis matters more than ever. A credible news source that has a vested interest in community-based news and information is the bedrock to our principles as a free nation.

Tennessee is home to hundreds of local newspapers and related websites – many of which provide the only meaningful news coverage for small, rural communities. We are you. We are Tennessee. We are local businesses.

Readers rely on newspapers to provide credible information about what matters most to them – news about local people, local government, local happenings, local businesses and important public notices that can impact a community. 

Newspapers and newspaper associations are uniting against newsprint tariffs. This is not only a print industry concern, but it could also ultimately affect other business segments in the U.S. that rely on paper products. 

Please help us protect the future of newspapers by contacting the Department of Commerce, Sen. Bob Corker, Sen. Lamar Alexander or Congresswoman Diane Black and letting them know that you oppose the proposed newsprint trade tariff.

A free press is more important than ever, and newspapers have always been at the forefront of serving our communities. We remain steadfast in our commitment of continuing to do so.

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