CONGRESSMAN JIM HIMES

Representing the 4th District of Connecticut

Himes, CT Newspapers Celebrate Overturning of Harmful Newsprint Tariffs

August 31, 2018
Press Release

BRIDGEPORT, CT— This week, the United States International Trade Commission overturned tariffs on Canadian newsprint. The tariffs, some of which were as high as 20 percent, drove up costs for newspapers across the country, especially affecting smaller and local papers without the budget cushion to absorb such a massive increase. The Commission found that imports of Canadian newsprint did not actually harm American producers.

“These tariffs were putatively imposed to help American paper companies, many of whom had already switched from newsprint to cardboard production as the demand for boxes from companies like Amazon grew,” said Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04).  “The result was that there was little benefit, while the harm extended to our local newspapers, the reporters and staff they employee, and the communities they serve. From a perspective of helping American business, these tariffs made no sense. That’s why I cosponsored the PRINT Act, which would have overturned them. Fortunately, we raised our voices loud enough and better arguments won the day.”

“The tariffs weren’t just about dollars and cents, but about making sure the American public has access to a diverse array of voices about the issues and events that matter in their daily lives,” said Andrew S. Julien, publisher and editor-in-chief at the Hartford Courant and vice president of the Connecticut Daily Newspaper Association.

"We're very appreciative of the members of Congress, especially the Connecticut delegation, who helped to lift the newsprint tariffs that would've placed an onerous burden on all print media," said Paul Barbetta, president and publisher of the Hearst Connecticut Media Group. "By alleviating this undue tariff, our elected representatives demonstrated their support for all newspapers to fulfill their mission of covering the communities they serve."

“When it comes to supporting local businesses and industries, it seems like this administration is all sizzle and no steak,” continued Himes. “I think the President saw an opportunity here to take a shot at Canada and newspapers, two of his perceived antagonists, with one action and did so without regard for the actual effects on our communities or economy. That’s a disastrous way to determine trade policy. We need to do the hard work, enact thoughtful policies that help businesses and keep people employed. That always has to be the number one priority.”