The viability of local newspapers, including the one that you are reading now, is being challenged by an unnecessary tariff on the import newsprint from Canada – the paper used to print this newspaper and others across Ohio.

Simply put, Ohio’s newspapers cannot absorb the additional financial burden that this tax – based on a dubious complaint from a single paper mill – is sure to create.

The new import tax begins on Tuesday and will add almost 10 percent to the cost of newsprint for GateHouse Ohio, which publishes The Columbus Dispatch, The Review in Alliance, The Times-Gazette in Ashland, The Repository in Canton, The Jeffersonian in Cambridge, The Record-Courier in Kent-Ravenna, The Independent in Massillon, The Times Reporter in New Philadelphia, The Daily Record in Wooster, and 35 weekly newspapers, including ThisWeek Community Newspapers serving suburban Columbus.

The additional cost for newsprint will add up to millions of dollars for this company’s Ohio operations alone.

If fully implemented, the resulting hardship could lead to the loss of thousands of jobs in the newspaper industry. We are at an important juncture right now, and our role of getting real news to you on a daily basis matters more than ever.

A credible news source that has a vested interest in community-based news and information is the bedrock to our principles as a free nation.

Ohio is home to more than 250 local newspapers and hundreds of related websites – many of which provide the only meaningful news coverage in small communities. We live here and work here and care about this place we call home.

We are local businesses. We are Ohio. We are you.

Readers rely on newspapers to provide credible information about what matters most to them – news about local people, local government, local happenings, local businesses and important public notices that can affect a community.

Newspapers and newspaper associations are uniting against newsprint tariffs.

"We are stunned that a single U.S. mill in Longview, Washington, has been able to manipulate the trade laws to their gain, while potentially wreaking financial havoc on newspapers and other commercial publishers across the country," said the News Media Alliance in a statement this week.

"This decision and its associated duties likely will lead to job losses in U.S. publishing, commercial printing and paper industries," said the Alliance, which represents more than 2,000 U.S. news organizations.

The Alliance said that the petition by NORPAC "does not reflect the views of the domestic paper industry and demonstrate a lack of understanding of the market.

"The well-documented decline in the U.S. newsprint market is not due to unfair trade, but to a decade-long shift from print to digital distribution of news and information," the industry group said.

This is not only a print industry concern, but it also could ultimately affect other business segments in the U.S. that rely on paper products.

Please help us protect the future of newspapers by contacting the Department of Commerce, Sen. Sherrod Brown, Senator Rob Portman or your local U.S. Congress representative and letting them know that you oppose the proposed newsprint trade tariff.

A free press is more important than ever, and newspapers have always been at the forefront of serving our communities. We remain steadfast in our commitment to doing so, and we could use your help to ensure that we can continue delivering papers to you.