Ardagh, Ball & CMI urge US president not to impose cansheet and aluminium tariffs

CEOs from some of America’s leading food and beverage companies and trade associations have joined the American Beverage Association, Beer Institute, and Can Manufacturers Institute in sending a letter to president Donald Trump requesting that he refrain from imposing tariffs or import restrictions on cansheet, primary aluminium, and scrap.

The letter notes a 10% tariff on aluminium would cost beer and beverage producers $256.3 million, a 20% tariff would cost $512.5m, and a 30% tariff would run $768.8m.

The companies and trade association that signed the letter include:

  • American Beverage Association
  • Ardagh Group
  • Ball Corporation
  • Beer Institute
  • Brewers Association
  • Can Manufacturers Institute
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • Constellation Brands Beer Division
  • Crown Holdings
  • Dr Pepper Snapple Group
  • Heineken USA
  • Molson Coors Brewing Company
  • National Association of Beverage Importers
  • National Beer Wholesalers Association
  • PepsiCo North America
  • Rogue Ales.

Susan K. Neely, American Beverage Association president and CEO, said: “Imposing an artificial price hike on American companies that employ millions of people will weaken the economy and hurt working families by raising prices, costing jobs and reducing incomes unfairly.

“Tariffs on our companies’ imports of primary and cansheet aluminium will greatly increase our manufacturing costs and harm many more workers than it helps.”

“The administration should take into consideration the unintended consequence of a trade action against aluminium cansheet and primary aluminium that would ripple across the supply chain. Like most industries, can makers depend on predictability in supply and price. If the aluminium supply is hindered by unnecessary tariffs or trade restrictions, it could lead to supply inefficacies and affect product availability,” said Robert Budway, Can Manufacturers Institute president. “Even a small tariff will result in greater uncertainty about prices, supply, financing and would dramatically curtail investment and hiring in the United States.”

The importation of aluminium is a critically important to American consumers. The aluminium can industry produces 96 billion food, beverage, and aerosol containers, employing more than 11,000 American workers in 164 plants in 33 states, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa. In total, the aluminium can industry generates $13.3 billion in economic activity.

In addition, the beer industry supports more than 2.2 million American jobs, generating more than $350 billion annually in economic output. In 2016, 56% of the beer produced in the United States was packed in aluminium cans or aluminium bottles.

On 27 April 2017, citing Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, president Trump sent a memorandum to the US Commerce Department directing them to investigate whether aluminium imports are jeopardising US national security.

On 19 January 2018, secretary Ross formally submitted to president Trump the results of the Department’s investigation into the effect of wrought and unwrought aluminium imports on US national security. The president now has until 20 April 2018, to decide on any potential action based on the findings of the investigation.

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