Quietly, One of President Trump’s Tariffs Threatens American Democracy
In January, the Trump administration applied one of its least discussed, but most consequential, tariffs: the one covering the Canadian newsprint long used by American newspapers.
Trump’s tariffs increased costs by at least 20 percent, with potentially dire ramifications in the already suffering newspaper business. “I think there’s probably going to be some casualties,” said Skip Bliss, publisher of the Gazette, the local newspaper in Janesville, Wis., the hometown of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan.
A few weeks ago, the U.S. International Trade Committee reversed the newsprint tariffs, because they harmed American newspapers. But the long-term consequences may be hard to undo. That’s because what kills newspapers most often is not losing subscribers, but long-term economic forces like rising costs of newsprint and lost advertising revenue. And once costs have risen, they may not drop back down.