U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., continued his fight Tuesday on behalf of printers and publishers in the United States by arguing against paper and newsprint tariffs that harm U.S. newspaper and print industries, including local Georgia newspapers.
In testimony at a formal hearing before the International Trade Commission focused on the effects of tariffs on uncoated groundwood paper, which is commonly used as newsprint, Isakson expressed deep concerns that levying tariffs could backfire. Ultimately, the tariffs would actually harm U.S. workers and manufacturers instead of protecting them, he said.
For local communities, “of all the news media there are, there’s none that delivers a more quality insight into the issue of the day [than local newspapers],” Isakson began. “The threat of losing the newsprint [industry] in this country… is a tremendous threat to the First Amendment, my ability to express myself and my ability as a businessman to sell a product.”
Ahead of this week’s testimony, Isakson also has sponsored legislation to prevent these tariffs from taking effect. Isakson argued that trade laws are meant to correct market disruptions, not to interfere with the market.
“I’m afraid these market increases would affect the markets in a negative way, the information I’m able to read in a negative way, and the dissemination of [information for] the public good in a negative way. None of which are good for the American people or American business,” Isakson said.