Letter to the Editor: Newsprint tariff is needed


To the editor:

Your otherwise excellent editorial, “On journalistic freedom and responsibility,” in the Aug. 23 Alexandria Times presents the kind of balanced view readers traditionally expect from good journalism. If there’s a Pulitzer for editorials, yours deserves a nomination. Nevertheless, it does make one departure, which is to speculate that President Donald Trump might be behind the tariffs recently imposed on imported Canadian newsprint. Instead, Trump’s commerce secretary is trying to cushion the newspaper industry from the full effect of the tariff that was [www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/ politics/albany/2018/08/02/ tariff-decision-news print-viewed-limited-help-struggling-newspapers/891407002/] instituted pursuant to a legal case brought by the largest U.S. newsprint manufacturer in which the U.S. International Trade Commission – four of its five members are Obama-appointed holdovers – found 34 distinct subsidies the Canadian government showered on its paper-producing industry in violation of free-trade rules, necessitating imposing this tariff. [www.thebeaconnewspapers.com/a-complex-subject; page 2 of https://issuu.com/thebeaconnewspapers/ docs/0918_balt_beacon].

The situation is actually a bigger ethical dilemma than the U.S. newspaper industry realizes. Because the Canadian government’s unfair trade practices held the price of newsprint below a free market price, the newspaper industry, by insisting that the U.S. government provide tariff relief [www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/schumer-encourages-commerce-department-to-end-ca – nadian-newsprint-tar iffs–20180726&] is in effect insisting upon a government subsidy for the newspaper industry – a foreign government subsidy. How can the newspaper industry ever fairly cover elected officials who heed the newspaper industry’s cries for congressional intervention in this tariff dispute?

-Dino Drudi, Alexandria