Tariffs impact the newspaper you’re reading

Sunday, July 15, 2018

A click in time?

This is one of those times when readers and advertisers of this and other newspapers can do something to help yourselves while helping your newspaper.


This newspaper and all others across the country are caught up in the tariff wars. The U.S. has imposed a tariff on Canadian newsprint at the request of a single U.S. paper company, and more tariffs could be coming. In our company alone, we have seen paper prices take a tremendous jump in a short time.

But worse than that, the supply is drying up. Our buyer is beginning to have trouble finding paper that can be bought at any price. We have been notified that our primary supplier from Canada will bypass the U.S. tariffs and redirect all of its product overseas.

Unlike Harley-Davidson, which has the option of locating a manufacturing facility overseas to serve markets involved in the trade war that directly affects them, we are local newspapers. We couldn’t do that even if we would. You are our customers. Here.

And our printing company has customers other than our newspapers. They, too, are feeling the effects of this.

There is no practical way for us to pass along all of these price increases to you. To be effective — to keep up — our subscription and ad rates would have to be going up every month. That just can’t happen, and you wouldn’t want to see it happen.

Already thin margins will evaporate for a lot of community newspapers. Some, both large and small, will go out of business. Because one company asked for a favor and got it.

We are sharing information with lawmakers and the Commerce Department secretary to explain the adverse effects of this.

In addition, the Stop Tariffs on Printers and Publishers coalition has initiated a citizen and employee petition against the tariffs that will be sent to the International Trade Commission prior to its critical July 17meeting.

That’s how you can help if you choose to do so. This is the online link to sign the petition: http://stopnewsprinttariffs.org/join-the-fight-to-protect-u-s-jobs .

Dave Berry is the publisher of five Missouri newspapers owned by Phillips Media, LLC, including the Christian County Headliner News.