Notes from all over

by GDA gda@accessmn.com

4-19-2018

Pres. Trump has done it again. He has put tariffs on goods other countries sent to the United States. The reason is many countries subsidize goods they export and make for unfair trade. The Chinese use workers making pennies an hour and send their goods to us. Tariffs make for fair trade or they should be.
These new tariffs are a big help to our taconite industry. They make for fair competition and as long as other countries are not fair, they should stand.
The trouble is, the people in Washington, D.C., the Congress and even Pres. Trump don't always check into some of the things they do.
As a newspaper publisher whose plant prints up to eight newspapers a week, one of our big concerns is newsprint. In case you didn't know it, most of the newsprint used in this country comes from Canada. Canada, with its vast forests and timberland, is the world's biggest producer of newsprint and the U.S. is its top customer.
There is a company, North Pacific Paper Co. of Longview, Wash., whose new owner, One Rock Capital Partners, a private equity firm located on the 54th floor of Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, filed a trade complaint alleging that Canada subsidized its newsprint industry, giving its companies an unfair advantage in preserving their market position.
Last month the Department of Commerce imposed two preliminary tariffs that would eventually increase the price of newsprint from Canada by as much as 32 percent. This summer, the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission will decide whether to make the tariffs permanent.
Newsprint is the second biggest cost in producing a newspaper. This increase in that cost could cause some newspapers to reduce the quality of their product and in some cases, they could fold.
It is not like this firm headquartered in New York City has trouble finding customers. Newsprint is always in demand as new plants producing it just don't happen. This is a case where the tariffs are definitely not needed and those in power should take a look at what they are doing.
Of course, if the price of newsprint goes up, don't be surprised if the price of other papers go up, too.
I applaud Trump looking out for our industries facing unfair trade practices from other countries, but they blew it on this one.
Maybe if some of these Washington, D.C., politicians actually went out and talked to the people and the industries involved, they would realize that some of their actions hurt the people and the country.
In the meantime, we just received a semi load of newsprint and after getting a confirmation on the price and shipping date of this load, were informed that the price that was confirmed went up. We have to pay it, of course.
Just think, sometimes you wonder how this country survives, despite our politicians, federal, state and local.
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The internet has changed the world completely, but has it all been good? Facebook is under fire and now many of those in this country don't trust it. I look at all the emails I get (over a hundred a day) and it is easy to see the stuff coming in that is crap. There is no one making sure what goes over the cyberspace is correct. I belong to one group that used to have over 70 members. Now this group sends out membership notices and billing on membership through the internet and guess what? The membership is down to 25. Surprise, some people don't live for the social networks.
The internet can be good, but someone has to monitor it and that someone probably isn't the government.
In the meantime, I want to know what happened to our spring. I feel that is the best season of the year and we have been robbed of it. I bet it's the Russians or the Clinton/Obama group's fault.
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Have a great week, anyway. April is over half gone.


 


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