Tariff threatens future of newspapers

Johnson City Press • Jan 12, 2018 at 12:00 AM

The viability of local newspapers, including the Johnson City Press, is being challenged by an unnecessary tariff on the import of uncoated groundwood paper from Canada — the type that is used to print this newspaper and others across our state and nation.

Simply put, newspapers cannot absorb the additional financial burden this needless 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 more job losses in the newspaper industry, as well as other printing operations that use this type of paper for production.

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 more than 100 local newspapers and hundreds of 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 could ultimately affect other business segments in the United States that rely on paper products.

Please help us protect the future of newspapers by contacting the Department of Commerce, U.S. Rep. Phil Roe and U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker (www.usa.gov/elected-officials) 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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