Now Trump’s Pissing Off the Beer Drinkers

Whether you’re a long-time beer drinker or just a recent convert in light of the national political climate, here’s some news that may upset you: the price of your beer is about to go up. And yes, you can legitimately blame this problem on President Donald Trump, too.

The White House is preparing to issue a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum. Consequently, beer manufacturers may have to pass along the extra cost of cans to consumers. Worse still, experts say that the policy doesn’t really make sense and sets up the United States for unnecessary trade wars with our allies like China.

According to the Beer Institute, 62 percent of beer is consumed from cans, with brewers selling nearly 36 billion aluminum cans annually. The advocate group anticipates that production costs will increase by $348 million each year thanks to the tariff.

It may seem like an incentive for companies to buy American aluminum instead, but the American aluminum industry actually opposes the idea. Heidi Brock, CEO of the Aluminum Association, argues that the tariff doesn’t address the real problem, which is that China manufactures more aluminum than it can reasonably sell, thus having an effect on global markets. “We fear that the proposed tariff may do more harm than good,” said Brock.

As major purchasers of aluminum, the beer industry agrees. Even Pete Coors, head of beer giant MillerCoors and a conservative who held pricy fundraisers for Trump during his campaign, is now publicly calling out Trump for doing something so destructive.

In a statement decrying the aluminum tariff, MillerCoors declared, “We buy as much domestic can sheet aluminum as is available, however, 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 tariff hasn’t even gone into effect yet, and the price of domestic aluminum has already increased by 31 percent in anticipation of the global consequences. Companies that rely on aluminum are already eating that cost. Considering that the beer industry is responsible for 1.4 percent of all American jobs, that’s a lot of potential layoffs in the making.

The truth of the matter is that a company like MillerCoors is large enough that it could maintain its current beer prices and just modestly cut into its profits. (Whether it wants to or not is another issue.) The same cannot be said of smaller brewers. Mother Jones points out that small, local craft beers will have the most difficulty handling these costs, so if you’re a fan of that kind of beer, prepare to start paying more.

Although Trump won the ever famous “which candidate would you rather have a beer with?” poll during the presidential campaign, in actuality Trump doesn’t drink alcohol. Don’t count on him nixing the aluminum tariff in order to spare the drinkers because he has no personal stake in this issue.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

86 comments

Toni W
Toni W2 months ago

TYFS

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Toni W
Toni W2 months ago

TYFS

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Lesa D
Lesa D2 months ago

gee i'm sooo glad that an important issue like beer has brought attention to the craziness going on in dc...

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Lesa D
Lesa D2 months ago

thank you Kevin...

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Leo C
Leo C2 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Janis K
Janis K2 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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silja s
silja salonen2 months ago

bowling and beer ..

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Tania N
Tania N2 months ago

Thank you for sharing

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Tania N
Tania N2 months ago

Thank you for sharing

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Tania N
Tania N2 months ago

Thank you for sharing

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