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Trump tariff on newsprint, hurt newspapers invalidated by commission

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Trump newspaperSteven Senne/AP
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  • The US International Trade Commission rolled back the
    Trump administration’s tariffs on imported newsprint from
    Canada on Wednesday, in a big win for the newspaper
    industry.
  • The ITC determined that US newsprint producers were not
    harmed by the Canadian imports.
  • The newsprint tariff caused a large cost increase for
    local newspapers around the US.
  • Many papers responded by slimming down their papers or
    laying off workers.

The US International Trade Commission has nullified the tariffs
put into place for imported newsprint by finding American
producers weren’t harmed by imports from Canadian paper mills.

The ruling is a victory for the US newspaper industry, which
complained that the rising cost of newsprint made it harder to
operate and required them to trim the size of papers or lay off
employees.

Dozens of lawmakers from both parties had urged the ITC to reject
a complaint that alleged dumping and subsidies had harmed US
paper mills.

The Commerce Department had imposed the tariffs in January as a
response to a complaint from a hedge fund-owned paper producer in
Washington state, Norpac, which argued that its Canadian
competitors took advantage of government subsidies to sell their
product at unfairly low prices.

According to the Commerce Department,
the 

US
imported $1.27 billion worth

 of Canadian newsprint
in 2016.

In response, many local newspaper groups reported
a squeeze to their bottom lines
. For instance, the Tampa Bay
Times, one of the largest newspapers in the US,
announced it was laying off 50 people
in April due to the
increased cost of newsprint. 

Other local newspapers also reduced their workforce or
trimmed the number of pages
 in response.

The Trump administration originally
took a step back from the tariffs on August 2
, announcing
that the tariff would be reduced to roughly 17% from the original
32%. At the time the Department of Commerce said that the
reduction was because the alleged dumping of newsprint by
Canadian suppliers was not as bad as originally estimated. 

According to the Commerce Department,
the 

US
imported $1.27 billion worth

 of Canadian newsprint
in 2016.

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