Import Duties on Aluminum Could Make Your Beer More Expensive

Slapping tariffs on aluminum imports could make beer more expensive, writes Joe Deaux over at Bloomberg Markets:

"Donald Trump’s efforts to save American metal-making jobs by punishing cheap imports may come with an bitter side effect: pricier beer. 

That’s the view of Tim Weiner, senior commodity risk manager at Molson Coors Brewing Co. and its MillerCoors LLC unit. 'If there are duties on aluminum coming to this country, it will obviously get passed on to us and the customer,' he told an industry conference in Chicago Wednesday. 'Our prices will go up.'

The brewer’s warning juxtaposes the enthusiasm of producer Century Aluminum Co. at the prospect U.S. authorities will take action against unfairly priced imports. Following a World Trade Organization complaint filed by the Obama administration in January, Trump signed an executive memorandum in April initiating an investigation into aluminum imports as part of a push to bring back jobs to America’s rust belt.

But if the U.S. does impose import duties on primary aluminum, it will affect the roughly 5,000 brewers scattered across every congressional district, Weiner said. Asked about the likelihood of such duties, he said: 'It depends on whether it’s politically motivated, or business motivated. I think there’s political motivation for putting some tariffs on.'

About 60 percent of the brewer’s packaging is aluminum can, 'and we don’t expect that to change,' Weiner said. 'We’re giving our customers what they want, and what they want is cans.'..."

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