Trump Administration's Proposed Aluminum Tariffs Could Raise Beer Prices


Last week, the Commerce Department unveiled a proposal to raise tariffs on imported aluminum, which as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports could raise the price of a six-pack:

The U.S. Commerce Department has recommended the tariffs on all steel and aluminum imports, or higher tariffs — up to 53% — on imports from specific countries.

The measures are aimed at bolstering the U.S. aluminum and steel industries, which have been hit hard by imports, especially from China...

Critics say the actions could harm many U.S. industries, including breweries and canned vegetable companies that use imported metal for product containers. 

'Anything that raises our raw material costs will affect the bottom line,' said Henry Schwartz, founder and CEO of MobCraft Beer, a Milwaukee brewery. Even if a brewer wanted to switch to all bottles, Schwartz added, it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional equipment, and it wouldn't appeal to a lot of consumers. 

How much would tariffs add to the price of a six pack? The industry says for every dollar worth of beer produced in the U.S., brewers spend about a dime for cans and roughly five cents for aluminum. While that doesn’t seem like a lot, it quickly adds up as brewers produce more than $55 billion worth of beer annually..."

Read more here.