Beer Lovers Take Note - Trump's Aluminum Tariffs Could Cost Jobs, Higher Beer Prices Say Trade Group

Beer tariffs

March 2, 2018 |  

President Donald Trump's proposal to raise tariffs on imported aluminum and steel by 10 and 25-percent respectively has been widely criticized from several quarters since its announcement yesterday. While politicians of both parties and several economists have panned the proposal, business leaders also weighed in on the topic.

For beer consumers, the aluminum tariff could affect not only the cost of your suds; it could eliminate thousands of jobs. That is is the assessment of the trade group, the Beer Institute.

In a statement released yesterday, Beer Institute President and CEO Jim McGreevy said the tariff would have devastating effects on domestic brewers. 

"Aluminum is critical to the well-being of America's beer industry as more than half of the beer produced annually is packed in aluminum cans or aluminum bottles," McGreevy said. "President Trump's announcement today that he plans to impose a 10-percent tariff on aluminum imports will increase the cost of aluminum in the United States and endanger American jobs in the beer industry and throughout the supply chain."

Along with increase beverage prices, the Beer Institute estimates the tariffs could lead to the loss of over 20,000 jobs and a new $347.7 million tax on America's beverage industry. 

Trump made the declaration based on a report from the U.S. Commerce Department that said steel and aluminum imports  “threaten to impair the national security,” as defined by Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. When the report was issued on Friday, February 16 Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross praised the findings.

“I am glad that we were able to provide this analysis and these recommendations to the President,” Ross said. “I look forward to his decision on any potential course of action.”

Beer Institute's McGreevy noted most of the imported aluminum to the United States comes from Canada, one of America most reliable allies.

“Imported aluminum used to make beer cans is not a threat to national security," he said. "We urge the Department of Commerce to exclude imported aluminum and cansheet used to make beer cans from these tariffs so as not to unnecessarily increase costs on American businesses and put jobs at risk.”

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