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H.R.6031 / S. 2835 - PRINT Act

To require a study of the well-being of the newsprint and publishing industry in the United States, and for other purposes.



You might favor this bill if:
►  You believe the Trump tariffs on Canadian groundwood will injure the economic well being of the newspaper industry in the U.S., which will fundamentally hurt some local media.

You might oppose this bill if:
►  You believe that the Trump tariffs will ultimately equate to a fair pricing for American products since the trade is being subsidized in a manner not benefiting the American industry.


The Print Act or the “Protecting Rational Incentives in Newsprint Trade Act , would protect the economic well-being, health, and vitality of the newsprint industry and the local newspaper publishing industry in the U.S. by applying a temporary freeze on the Trump tariffs on Canadian paper for newsprint.

The bill does not eradicate or overturn the tariffs, rather it calls on the Department of Commerce (DOC) to conduct a study assessing several factors of the newspaper industry. Specifically, the study will look into:
● Trends in demand for digital and traditional printed newspapers;
● Costs of production of traditional printed newspapers, including the use of newsprint;
● The effect of declining readership of traditional printed newspapers and the continued availability of coverage of local news, local sports, local government, and local disaster prevention and awareness;
● The trends and overall health of the paper industry of the United States;
● Measures undertaken by printers and newspaper publishers to reduce costs in response to increased costs for newsprint in the United States, and whether such measures have harmed local news coverage or reduced employment in the newspaper and publishing industries;
● Whether measures undertaken by publishers and printers to reduce costs have harmed local businesses that advertise in local newspapers; and
● The global production capacity for newsprint in light of the declining demand for newsprint.

The Trump administration announced in January of its implementation of retaliatory tariffs against Canadian groundwood paper, claiming that the industry was being subsidized in a manner not benefiting the American government. Some argue that the alternate motive behind the tariffs is to attack print media, since President Trump has called the media “the enemy of the American people.”

Supporters of the legislation argue that the tariffs will harm vital institutions, including local media such as town newspapers.

“Chances are that if you are reading this, you subscribe to a local newspaper,” Rep. Kristi Noem wrote in an opinion column on a newspaper. “Sadly, many are disappearing from our rural communities, making it increasingly difficult to stay connected with what’s happening within the local school system, around town, and around the state.” "A paper that services around 20,000 customers, for instance, could see paper costs rise by about a quarter-million dollars annually, threatening the newspaper’s survival.”


In a press release by the Department of Commerce, the Trump administration defends its position.


“Today’s preliminary decision allows U.S. producers to receive relief from the market-distorting effects of potential government subsidies while taking into account the need to keep groundwood paper prices affordable for domestic consumers,” said Secretary Ross in the press release. “The Department of Commerce will continue to evaluate and verify the accuracy of this preliminary determination while standing up for the American business and worker.”


If enacted, the bill mandates the report to be delivered to the President and Congress within 90 days of enactment.


H.R.6031

Sponsored by: Rep. Noem, Kristi L. [R-SD-At Large].

Cosponsored by: 29 Rep / 7 Dem.

See list of cosponsors.



S.2835

Sponsored by: Sen. Collins, Susan M. [R-ME].

Cosponsored by: 16 Rep / 12 Dem / 1 Ind.

See list of cosponsors.




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