National tariffs impact local newsprint costs

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Newsprint tariffs could increase costs by 32 percent, which could force small operations to close their doors with costs to increase across the board. 

    In order to keep providing you this award winning newspaper and connection to your communities, you may notice an increase on costs in the near future to recoup some of these tariff increases. 

    Locally, we have already had an increase of 10 percent on our newsprint from the printing plant.

    The National Newspaper Association has collected facts on the situtaion. 

    Newsprint is one of the grades of paper in a category called Uncoated Groundwood paper or UGW.

    Most of the newsprint used in U.S. newspapers is manufactured in Canada and has been for many years. U.S. publishing businesses were instrumental in encouraging the development of the Canadian newsprint market because of the natural advantages of hydropower and water-lane shipping in that country. At some points in U.S. history, American publishing companies like The Washington Post and The New York Times even owned all or parts of newsprint companies so that they could insure continued supplies in tight times, such as during the World Wars.

    Newsprint production also occurs in the U.S., primarily in the southern states and upper northwest, using wood products from farmed conifers, like pine trees. These products are usually chips from logs that have been sawn for construction lumber.

    Many newsprint mills in both countries either closed or converted to other paper products in the past decade as U.S. newspaper publishers cut demand. In fact, the U.S. requires 75 percent less newsprint today than it did a decade ago.

    The tariffs against all UGW were proposed by a Washington State newsprint producer, North Pacific Paper Company or NORPAC. NORPAC said Canadian producers were violating trade laws in two ways. First, they were allegedly receiving government subsidies through such channels as government loan assistance and permission to harvest trees on government land. Second, they were selling paper in the U.S. too cheaply compared to prices for other nations. NORPAC said its paper mill was injured by these practices. . . .

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