Our local Ogden papers cover Trump's tariffs
This year, President Trump has put a number of tariffs into place. Our local "newspapers" have, from time to time, printed AP reports which include both sides of the debate. On the editorial page, I could not find any editorials about Trump's actions. I did find one Mike Myer column, "Tariffs on Steel Overdue,"from last March that whole-heartedly supported Trump's tariffs on imported steel and aluminum:
Now Trump wants to help and, bless him, his heart is in the right place. It’s been a long time since a president behaved as if he actually cared about steelworkers and coal miners.
Beyond the obvious trade wars this sort of action triggers, the problem (it seems to me) is that we seldom know all of the consequences. For example, from a Washington Post analysis earlier this month:
One factor for the projected loss is that there are 5.1 million jobs in manufacturing industries that stand to be hurt by higher steel and aluminum prices, according to a Brookings Institution analysis of Emsi data. That compares to 313,000 jobs in the industries that make the metals and will benefit from higher prices.
In any case, Myer clearly supports Trump's tariff on steel and aluminum. But what does Ogden think about other tariffs?
Here's a tariff that local readers have not read about in our local papers
One of Trump's earliest tariffs has already had and will have a direct impact on Ogden Newspapers. As an AP story last April explained:
Newspaper publishers across the U.S. already strapped by years of declining revenue say they’re dealing with an existential threat: Recently imposed tariffs on Canadian newsprint driving up their business costs.
The Washington Post elaborated last month:
The newspapers, like the staff, are leaner than they were a decade ago, with fewer reporters to write about crime, the school board and youth sports and to craft obituaries for their aging readership.
And now they're facing a new and unexpected threat: President Donald Trump's confrontational trade policies.
Last year, in one of the Trump administration's first actions on trade, the U.S. government imposed tariffs on Canadian lumber. A few months later, it added tariffs on Canadian uncoated groundwood paper.
The result has been a jump in the cost of newsprint, the second-biggest operating expense after salaries for most newspapers. Rogers and fellow news executives across the country are now bracing for price increases that could exceed 30 percent, forcing tough budget decisions and potentially driving some community papers out of business.
Why haven't we read about this? I'm not sure -- perhaps Ogden would then have to criticize a Trump policy?
Who will save Ogden from more damage to their bottom line?
Who else? From the press release section of Representative David McKinley's congressional webpage:
McKinley Testifies Against Tariffs on Newsprint During U.S. International Trade Commission Hearing
Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E., (WV-1) testified before the United States International Trade Commission this morning on the unintended consequences of the new tariffs on newsprint imported from Canada.
And the congressman has been busy at his word processor supporting the cause. Last Monday, McKinley wrote an op-ed on the subject for The Hill:
Tariffs on imports of Canadian newsprint strike another blow to America’s struggling newspapers
And from the article:
In West Virginia, the Ogden Newspaper chain is seeing its costs increase exponentially, leading them to consider cutting days and laying off employees.
(Does that mean that they'll have less than zero employees working on Saturday?)
Not totally off the topic -- is McKinley running unopposed this November?
The last time Democratic candidate Kendra Fershee was mentioned in a Wheeling paper was on May 16. Has she dropped out?
Note -- I'm not in favor of the newsprint tariff. I also have problems with selective tariffs that exist to win political favor with a particular group. (That probably rules out most tariffs.) I would think that the locals will eventually weigh-in on this matter although an indictment of Trump's trade policy will likely not be included. Ogden papers clearly need to (but probably won't) look at its blind allegiance to all-things-Trump. However, I'm sure its support of McKinley will not waver.