The US International Trade Commission has rejected tariffs on imported paper from Canada, which have been blamed for sending the cost of newsprint soaring.
The ITC said on Wednesday that it found the imported Canadian paper “does not injure US industry”, according to a statement. All five commissioners voted against the tariffs, according to a statement.
As a result of the vote, no duties will be assessed on the imports, the ITC said. The US Commerce Department, which had imposed the tariffs earlier this year in response to a petition brought by a paper mill in Washington state, had upheld the tariffs in a recent decision, though it had revised them lower.
The decision comes as US and Canadian officials undertake detailed negotiations aimed at revamping the Nafta trade pact. The two neighbour countries have sparred frequently over trade, and those battles have escalated under the Trump administration.
The News Media Alliance, a trade group, hailed the decision in a statement on Wednesday. “The ITC’s decision will help to preserve the vitality of local newspapers and prevent additional job losses in the printing and publishing sectors,” said David Chavern, the group’s president and chief executive. “The end of these unwarranted tariffs means local newspapers can focus once again on playing a vital role in our democracy by keeping citizens informed and connected to the daily life of their communities.”
Last year, imports of uncoated paper from Canada to the US were valued at about $1.21bn, according to the Commerce Department.