Letter to Members: Senators Introduce Bill to Suspend Newsprint Tariffs
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Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Newspaper Association Managers:
On Monday, a bi-partisan group of 10 Senators introduced S. 2835, the “Protecting Rational Incentives in Newsprint Trade Act of 2018,” or “PRINT Act” that would suspend new newsprint tariffs until the Department of Commerce conducts a study on the economic impact of the taxes on the publishing and printing industries. Taking the lead on the legislation were Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME). Joining as original co-sponsors were Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Doug Jones (D-AL), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Roger Wicker (R-MS).
We only focused on a dozen or so Senate offices before the rollout to limit the potential for opposition. Late last week, we heard that opposition to the bill was developing from a union and others in the trade enforcement community. These groups were putting pressure on the above sponsors not to add their name to the bill. If your senator has signed on as an original co-sponsor, we encourage you to thank them for their leadership in support of their local newspapers.
The Alliance and the National Newspaper Association are working closely together to fight these tariffs. A special thanks to Tonda for her invaluable assistance on this bill.
Next steps: We will push for co-sponsorship for the Senate legislation. We are also talking to policymakers in the House of Representatives who are interested in introducing a companion bill. While we all recognize that it is very difficult to get legislation passed into law in this (or any) Congress, we are using every available vehicle to call attention to the impact of these tariffs on publishers and printers with the hope of influencing the Department of Commerce’s final determination in the case, which is expected in August. We also hope that it provides an impetus to recruit additional congressional leaders who will testify against the Norpac petition at the International Trade Commission on July 17.
Below is a copy of the bill, our press release that was distributed moments ago, and a one-page description of what the bill would do – and wouldn’t do – if enacted.
Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!
Senior Vice President / Public Policy
News Media Alliance
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Ste. 300
Arlington, VA 22203