Announcement Pending on Aluminum and Steel Tariffs

President Trump announced today that the U.S. government will impose tariffs on aluminum and steel as early as next week. The announcement is the White House’s response to the Department of Commerce’s Section 232 investigation into whether the import of aluminum and steel is a national security risk. The 10 percent tariff on all aluminum imports into the United States will be imposed for a yet-to-be-announced number of years. The tariff is expected to have a direct impact on the cost of can sheet aluminum used by small and independent brewers.

The Brewers Association, along with a coalition of can manufacturers, large global multinational brewers, and non-alcoholic beverage producers, has advocated against tariffs on can sheet aluminum and the ingredients used to make it, such as primary aluminum. Can sheet aluminum is used exclusively to make cans for beverage containers, and, to the association’s knowledge, does not pose a national security risk. Though 98 percent of can sheet aluminum is produced in the United States, the tariffs are still expected to raise the cost of ingredients used to make the product.

Throughout the investigation, members of Congress weighed in against the tariffs. The Department of Defense also cautioned against across-the-board tariffs and encouraged a more targeted approach. There is still an opportunity for the president to exempt some countries from the tariffs.

Craft breweries are operating in almost every U.S. congressional district and employ more than 130,000 Americans in manufacturing and service industry jobs. The Brewers Association strongly opposes the imposition of tariffs on imported can sheet aluminum and cautions against any action that would result in increased prices for small and independent brewers and their customers. We will continue to work with the Trump administration, Congress, and the coalition to mitigate the impacts of these tariffs on our members.

Katie Marisic is federal affairs manager at the Brewers Association (BA). Based in Washington, D.C. she plans and executes legislative, regulatory and political strategies to drive the associations federal affairs presence on Capitol Hill. Prior to working for the BA, Katie was vice president of political affairs at the National Association of Federal Credit Unions. She got her start in politics working on congressional campaigns during the ’06 and ’08 elections. A Pennsylvania native, Katie is a long time craft brewing supporter. In 2013 she helped to open Atlas Brew Works in Washington, D.C. When she is not advocating for the craft brewing community on Capitol Hill you can sometimes find her pouring beers at a local tasting room.

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