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Fox NewsM reports that in the wake of President Trump’s announcement last week that he intends to impose a 25% tariff on all steel imports and a 10% tariff on all aluminum imports - regardless of the source country - Anheuser-Busch InBev released the following statement:

“Anheuser-Busch has been a proud leading manufacturer and employer in the United States for more than 165 years – we currently operate 21 breweries in 15 states and employ more than 18,000 people in the U.S. Because beer is increasingly packaged in aluminum cans, the proposed 10 percent tariff on aluminum will likely cost U.S. brewers millions of dollars, making it more difficult to grow and further invest in our U.S. operations. We urge the Administration to consider the impact of these decisions on the thousands of hard-working Americans and millions of beer drinkers that make up the U.S. beer industry.”

In its story, the New York Times writes that The Beer Institute is arguing that the proposed tariffs “would amount to an unintended tax. It said people would lose their jobs as a result, and that higher prices for a six-pack could drive beer drinkers elsewhere for their refreshment.”

MillerCoors went on Twitter to say that “like most brewers, we are selling an increasing amount of our beers in aluminum cans, and this action will cause aluminum prices to rise. It is likely to lead to job losses across the beer industry.” While MillerCoors says that it buys as much domestic aluminum as possible, “there simply isn’t enough supply to satisfy the demands of American beverage makers like us. American workers and American consumers will suffer as a result of this misguided tariff.”

The Times writes that “the Trump administration has said that a flood of metals from other countries pose a threat to national security, and that the tariffs can help bolster domestic industries.”
KC's View:
It is interesting and sort of ironic that aluminum cans seem to have made such a comeback in the beer business, with so many craft beers moving over to aluminum instead of glass. And, to be honest, I was surprised to learn that about 60 percent of beer is packaged in aluminum.

International trade is a little out of my league, so, to be honest, it is hard for me to assess this one. I will say this - the arguments against the tariffs to this point seem a lot more passionate and well-thought out than the arguments for it. But I’m willing to keep an open mind and consider both sides … and hope that the folks on either side of the aisle are being as nuanced and holistic in their thinking about it as I’d like them to be.