Give’em hell, Michael

PIA president Makin blasts Trump’s proposed tariffs on Canadian paper

Apparently Canadians have a strong ally south of the border – and it’s not comrade Trump. In response to a recent announcement by the US Department of Commerce to impose tariffs on Canadian imports of uncoated groundwood (UGW) paper, Printing Industries of America (PIA) president and CEO Michael Makin quickly criticized the move, saying it would put thousands of American jobs in the printing industry at risk, make life more difficult for its members, and raise the cost of printed products for the consumer. In a brief video that every printer should view (, he also explained how Trump tariffs on steel and aluminum would negatively impact US manufacturing of printing equipment and plates, respectively.

“The Department of Commerce has announced preliminary anti-dumping duties of up to 22.16% on Canadian imports of uncoated groundwood paper,” Makin revealed. “This is compounded by preliminary countervailing duties averaging 6.5% on the same product announced in January. These tariffs will negatively impact paper used for newsprint, directories, book publishing and advertising circulars, raising costs for production and, ultimately, print customers. All of this havoc has been caused by one company in the paper industry filing a trade remedy case alleging unfair trade practices by Canada. The majority of US newsprint manufacturers, the trade associations representing the industry, and US customers, oppose the trade petition on UGW paper,” he added. 

He went on to say that the PIA and its allies have gone to Capitol Hill to make their case. “There are 800,000 jobs associated with the US printing industry, and the PIA’s first and foremost goal is to ensure that the companies that provide those jobs are able to purchase equipment without higher production costs associated with potential tariffs.”

American journalist, satirist and cultural critic H.L. Mencken, whom I studied as a teenager, once predicted that some day “The White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.” He wrote those words in the Baltimore Sun on July 26, 1920. That makes him not just a satirist, but a prophet.

Until next time, always remember that we’re here to help.


Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.