Xpress is also feeling the strain of tariffs. Following a complaint from the North Pacific Paper Co. in Washington, the U.S. Department of Commerce implemented tariffs of up to 9.93 percent on Canadian newsprint in January and added a 22.16 percent anti-dumping tariff on some producers in March. About 60 percent of American newspapers are printed on paper imported from Canada; only five newsprint mills currently operate in the U.S.
“The tariff is currently impacting us, as it is virtually all newspaper publishers in the country. For us, our printing costs have increased about 15 percent, which is in effect about the cost of one journalist,” says Jeff Fobes, publisher of Mountain Xpress.
“Our tactic is to reduce expenses in a way that doesn’t hurt our content,” Fobes continues. “We’re doing pretty well at improving efficiencies in our overall operation, but any company reaches a limit at some point.”