Good news, everyone! Johnny Isakson sponsored legislation to help protect newspapers and publishers.
The so-called PRINT Act “would suspend the import taxes on uncoated groundwood paper while the U.S. Department of Commerce examines the health of—and the effects on—the printing and publishing industry.”
Let me save the Commerce Department some work: the printing/publishing industry is unfortunately dying and I’m not sure this will save it. (Anything to ensure the continued publishing of my weekend newspapers is more than welcome).
What inspired Isaskson and the bi-partisan group of sponsors was the 2017 tariffs levied on Canadian uncoated groundwood paper producers. AKA: newsprint.
Another aspect I found interesting is that the legislation says the President would have to review the Commerce Department’s report and determine if suspending the duties ” is in the national interest”. Considering how antagonistic President Trump has been toward the press and how personally he has taken slights (throughout his career), I somehow doubt he’d do anything to help media outlets.
Isakson said announcing the legislation:
Local newspapers are a vital source of news and community information, especially in rural and small-town America. Unfair or punitive action taken against producers of groundwood paper would threaten to put many Georgia newspapers out of business and could cost up to 1,000 jobs in Georgia. I have consistently fought for a level playing field for domestic producers, but in this case, unfair manipulation of trade remedy laws could endanger jobs across Georgia and the country. We are urging the administration to exercise caution in its pursuit of new tariffs on imported newsprint until Congress can review and understand the full possible effects on this industry before these taxes are collected.”