Lawmakers warn Trump tariffs threaten local newspapers
WASHINGTON — About a dozen members of Congress warned Tuesday that newspapers in their home states are in danger of reducing news coverage, laying off workers, or going out of business if the United States maintains recently imposed tariffs on Canadian newsprint.
The Trump administration ordered the tariffs in response to a complaint from a paper producer in Washington state. It argues that Canadian competitors take advantage of government subsidies to sell their product at unfairly low prices.
About a dozen lawmakers testified against making the tariffs permanent during a US International Trade Commission hearing. The commission is reviewing whether US producers of certain groundwood paper products, including newsprint, have been materially injured because of the imports from Canada. The commission’s findings help determine whether the Department of Commerce makes the tariffs permanent.
Newsprint is generally the second-largest expense for local papers. The tariffs have generally increased newsprint prices by 25 to 30 percent.
Senators Susan Collins and Angus King of Maine argued that the tariffs will hurt the industry they’re designed to help because it will diminish the market for newsprint in America as newspapers shrink or close.
‘‘If you end up with a smaller market, you haven’t helped anybody, let alone the plant in Washington that is petitioning for this help,’’ King said.
The newsprint tariffs reflect President Trump’s tough new approach to US trade relations, but they are separate from other high-profile trade actions taken in recent weeks. The administration has also sought to curb imports from China.
Comey calls for support of Democrats in elections
NEW YORK — James Comey, the FBI director who was fired last year by President Trump, is urging voters to support Democrats in November’s midterm elections.
In a tweet, Comey said the ‘‘Republican Congress has proven incapable of fulfilling the Founders’ design that ‘Ambition must ... counteract ambition.’’’
This phrase refers to the need for Congress to provide checks and balances to presidential power.
Comey wrote: ‘‘All who believe in this country’s values must vote for Democrats this fall. ... History has its eyes on us.’’
The former FBI director and former assistant attorney general recently said he no longer considers himself a Republican.
On Monday, after Trump’s press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Comey tweeted, ‘‘This was the day an American president stood on foreign soil next to a murderous lying thug and refused to back his own country.’’
US paid $68,000 to Trump’s golf resort in Scotland
The US government paid $68,800 to President Trump’s golf resort in Turnberry, Scotland, to cover the cost of Trump’s visit to the course last weekend, according to a report Tuesday in the Scotsman newspaper.
The money came from the US State Department, the Edinburgh-based paper reported, and it paid for hotel rooms used by Trump and his staff. The president visited the resort — which he bought in 2014 — from Friday night to Sunday afternoon.
Reached on Tuesday afternoon, the Trump Organization did not dispute the paper’s findings.
Instead, it issued a one-sentence statement saying that it did not derive profits from business with the government.
‘‘For United States government patronage, our hotels charge room rates only at cost and we do not profit from these stays,’’ said the statement, attributed to George Sorial, the company’s chief compliance counsel.
Eric Trump, one of the president’s sons, made a similar point on Twitter: ‘‘We have decided that for any United States Govt business, we charge our COST and do NOT profit from these stays. Much more would be spent if they stayed elsewhere.’’
The White House did not immediately respond to questions Tuesday. The State Department referred questions to the Secret Service, which did not immediately respond to questions.
Trump still owns his businesses, including Trump Turnberry, but he has given over day-to-day control to his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump.
The Turnberry club has been one of his biggest investments — costing him $205 million in cash to cover the purchase and extensive renovations. But, so far, it has lost millions of dollars and has never reported turning a profit.
Trump made no public appearances during his weekend at Turnberry. During his stay there, Trump’s staff said, he was focused on preparations for the meeting with Putin.
Photos showed he also played golf.