GUEST VIEW: Paper tariff threatens newspapers’ futures

The following editorial was published in Jan. 14 edition of The Daily Telegram, Adrian:

(TNS) The viability of local newspapers, including the one that you are reading now, is being challenged by an unnecessary tariff on the import of newsprint from Canada — the paper used to print this newspaper and others across Michigan.

Simply put, Michigan’s newspapers cannot absorb the additional financial burden that this tax — based on a dubious complaint from a single paper mill — is sure to create.

The new import tax begins on Tuesday and will add almost 10 percent to the cost of newsprint for GateHouse Michigan, which publishes The Daily Telegram as well as The Monroe News, The Holland Sentinel, Ionia Sentinel-Standard, The Sturgis Journal, The Daily Reporter (Coldwater), The Cheboygan Daily Tribune, The Evening News (Sault Ste. Marie) and dozens of weekly newspapers. In addition, we are the printer for many more newspapers and other publications across the state.

The additional cost for newsprint will add up to millions of dollars for this company’s Michigan operations alone.

If fully implemented, the resulting hardship could lead to the loss of thousands of jobs in the newspaper industry. We are at an important juncture right now, and our role of getting real news to you on a daily 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.

Michigan is home to more than 350 local newspapers and hundreds of related websites — many of which provide the only meaningful news coverage in small communities. We live here and work here and care about this place we call home.

We are local businesses. We are Michigan. We are you.

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 affect a community. Newspapers and newspaper associations are uniting against newsprint tariffs. This is not only a print industry concern, but it also could ultimately affect other business segments in the U.S. that rely on paper products.

Please help us protect the future of paper-based industries by contacting the Department of Commerce, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Sen. Gary Peters and Rep. Tim Walberg and letting them know that you oppose the proposed newsprint tariff.

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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