Newsprint prices on line at NNA Summit

March 14, 2018

WASHINGTON—National Newspaper Association members hope to forestall a devastating increase in newsprint prices when they meet March 14-15 for the annual NNA Community Newspaper Leadership Summit. An added bonus for those who attend: The keynote speaker at the final-night dinner is storied foreign affairs reporter Lally Graham Weymouth.
The U.S. Department of Commerce levied preliminary tariffs of 5 percent to 10 percent against Canadian newsprint producers since Jan. 16 as a result of a complaint by a single paper company in Washington state. The payments are being held in an escrow account while federal agencies complete their investigations.
NNA and News Media Alliance officials have met with Commerce Department representatives to state the newspaper industry’s case. But the tariffs are unlikely to be stopped unless agency officials hear from members of Congress. That’s where NNA members come in.
“We are going to fight this tax on our businesses,” said NNA President Susan Rowell, publisher of the Lancaster (SC) News. “Our members will take their case to Capitol Hill on March 15 and urge members of Congress to get involved in this proceeding. NNA members are not permitted to directly intervene in the case, so we need to rely on our elected representatives to speak out for us.”
The Summit will kick off the night before with a group dinner at a Uyghur restaurant within walking distance of the Crystal City Marriott, the host hotel for the event. Attendees will be fully briefed on the newsprint issue the following morning by NNA Public Policy Director and General Counsel Tonda Rush. Bliss Communications Vice President Tony Smithson will flesh out the economics of the issue by providing a backgrounder on the North American newsprint market before attendees head to the Hill.
The Summit will conclude that evening with a special dinner at the National Press Club. Washington Post Senior Associate Editor Lally Graham Weymouth will be the keynote speaker. In addition to her work as a foreign affairs reporter for a number of different publications, Weymouth is the daughter of the late Katharine Graham, who was the publisher of the Post during its heyday in the Watergate era and was the primary owner and chief executive officer of the Washington Post Co. for more than 25 years.

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