Trump tariffs send businesses reeling

June 28, 2018 GMT

Harley-Davidson motorcycles are the quintessential “Made in America” product. Maybe not for long. As a result of the Trump administration’s tariffs on many foreign goods, Europe is placing retaliatory tariffs on American products.

Europeans who love the American- muscle motorbikes would have had to pay much more to own one — and that’s why the company is promising to move some production overseas.

The labels on Harleys sold in Europe no longer will say “Made in the USA.”

On this side of the Atlantic, the trade war that the Trump administration is waging with Canada could result in such high tariffs on U.S. dairy products that farmers no longer will be able to export their milk or cheesemakers their cheese. And as farmers know, “You can’t turn off the cows.” Milk, and the farmers’ profits, could end up poured on the ground.

Newspapers are another victim of the trade wars. Beginning in January, ever-increasing tariffs have been levied on newsprint from several Canadian mills. For some news outlets, the price of paper has gone up 30 percent.

If the tariffs remain in place, publications already hammered by internet advertising and the demise of their brick-and-mortar store advertisers will be forced to cut costs drastically.

In some states, cutbacks will mean layoffs of editors and reporters, fewer pages in each issue, increases in subscription prices, and inevitably, the closure of some struggling small-town daily papers.

Not just smaller papers are affected. The Tampa Bay Times in Florida announced the layoff of 50 staffers in response to the Trump tariffs.

Fortunately, the Santa Fe New Mexican is in a community full of robust local advertisers and newspaper readers willing to pay for a subscription. But other communities across America will suffer.

Economically, publications depend on print advertising, subscription and single-copy sales to support newsrooms.

Advertising on newspaper’s websites cannot make up for losses in the printed product or for extra production expenses.

Higher cost of newsprint will mean less news in most communities, and some towns will become “news deserts” when their newspaper closes.

Please help the publishing industry by signing a petition to the International Trade Commission in Washington, urging that body to rescind newsprint tariffs.

The petition is available at stopnewsprinttariffs.org/join-the-fight-to-protect-u-s-jobs.

Readers can also find it on the home- page of the Santa Fe New Mexican website. Our newspaper association hopes to collect 10,000 petitions in time for a July 17 hearing before the trade commission.

Please help us to preserve news in America and American democracy.