October 4, 2019

False alarm: EU tariffs will not affect books


After much panic, good news: the Trump administration’s newest round of tariffs on EU goods will not include books.

Publishers Weekly reports that the confusion was born from a line reading that “printed books, brochures, leaflets, and similar printed matter in single sheets, whether or not folded” would be included in the 25% tariffs.

It does sound damning, but PW continues: “However, as Ray Ambriano of Meadows Wye & Co., an international logistics company specializing in the publishing industry, explained, that USTR classification does not pertain to bound books.”

That’s it—that’s the news. This was going to be a longer blog post until it became clear that books will be tariff-free. Though let’s take a moment to bemoan the fact that a lot of excellent foods and drinks, arguably the best foods and drinks to pair with a good book on a chilly October evening, will be subjected to the tariff. Scotch and Irish whiskey, French wine, coffee, cheese (cheese!), and olives, according to the Bookseller. So stock up, friends. The tax is due to go into effect by October 18.



Amelia Stymacks is the former director of digital marketing at Melville House.