Newsprint Prices Expected to Go Down After ITC Reverses Tariffs

News Media Alliance

The News Media Alliance is reporting that the International Trade Commission (ITC) will officially reverse newsprint tariffs beginning on September 17 when it publishes its final determination that Canadian imports did not materially injure the U.S. newsprint industry. After the determination is published in the Federal Register, the Department of Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to refund all deposits collected since the preliminary determination. Once it receives Commerce’s instructions, CBP will begin to refund cash deposits (without interest) to “importers of record,” which in the case of newsprint, are the Canadian newsprint manufacturers. There is no deadline by which CBP must refund cash deposits, but experience indicates it may take three to six months. The Alliance will work with our supporters on Capitol Hill to encourage the CBP to expedite the refunds to the manufacturers.

Canadian manufacturers passed the cost of the newsprint tariffs on to publishers and other consumers, with newsprint prices rising by 25 to 30 percent.  Unless stated in purchasing contracts, manufacturers are not required to refund or share with their customers preliminary duties that have been collected. The Alliance will be encouraging newsprint producers to share the revenue that will be returned so that the market is more balanced, which will serve the interests of producers and publishers over the long run.

After the August 29 announcement that the tariffs would be reversed, newsprint producer Kruger sent a letter to its customers stating that, effective September 1, it would be lowering newsprint prices. We understand other Canadian manufacturers hit the hardest by the tariffs will remove premiums – which range from $52 to $86 per metric ton – that were assessed when the preliminary duties were put in place. Of course, the threat of tariffs in late fall 2017 and market forces increased the pressure on the market, which caused prices to rise beyond these special premiums. We will continue to work to help normalize newsprint market and will provide updates along the way.