Published: 3:07 pm, Tue. Mar. 13th, 2018Updated: 3:07 pm
U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Luján, Steve Pearce and Michelle Lujan Grisham are standing up for local newspapers by urging Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross not to approve additional tariffs on newsprint.
In January, the Commerce Department imposed import duties on Canadian groundwood paper, a kind of newsprint used by newspapers across the country, and are now considering additional tariffs. According to the lawmakers and thousands of newspapers nationwide — including eight in New Mexico — the tariffs are dramatically increasing paper prices.
Domestic mills are capable of producing only a fraction of the product needed by the country’s newspapers and charge freight costs unaffordable by papers in the southwest.
Additional cost increases would be unsustainable for many papers, especially small, local newspapers, and could force some to shut down amid other ongoing financial pressures in the newspaper industry.
“The newspaper industry is facing duties on Canadian newsprint and changes to the cost of shipping, which could be catastrophic for publishers in the southwest. These changes will result in nationwide increases in newsprint prices,” the lawmakers wrote. “We urge you to use your discretion to revisit the domestic industry’s support of this petition and consider the adverse impact to domestic manufacturers and publishers before proceeding with these investigations.”