How Does Protectionism Hurt Our Drinks?


Last weekend, R Street's Daniel DiLoreto discussed the alcohol industry's protectionist policies in the Washington Examiner. The Trump tariffs are detrimental, and many state policies have the same impact. They increase prices and stifle consumer choice:

President Trump’s tariffs are putting a dent in the good ole American six pack. This spring, craft breweries braced for impact, as additional charges on steel and aluminum are likely to make cans and bottle caps more costly to produce. “Any raise in the cost of cans will be immediately felt,” explains Justin Cox, founder of Washington, D.C.’s, Atlas Brew Works. Cox says he’ll be forced either to cut back on labor or charge consumers higher prices.

Nevertheless, while the tariffs have made national headlines for harming American industries, similarly costly state-level policies that affect alcohol have received less media attention. Like tariffs, however, state protectionism also hurts the booze industry by increasing production costs and raising prices for consumers. Consequently, while Trump’s tariffs deserve criticism, efforts to push back against protectionist policies should not be confined to the national level...

Read the whole article here.