Trump tariff on steel and aluminum: Winners and losers
President Donald Trump reiterated support Friday for steel and aluminum tariffs, saying in a tweet that “trade wars are good, and easy to win.” The message came a day after he announced his plans to impose a tariff of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum. If president has his way, the effects on business could be widespread. Here are some of the likely winners and losers:
Winners: U.S. steelmakers and aluminum producers
Top steel producers such as AK Steel, U.S. Steel and Nucor have for years been aggressively lobbying for trade protection against what they say is unfair competition from such countries as China, Russia and South Korea. If the 25% tariff happens, it is expected to drive up U.S. steel prices.
Michael Bless, CEO of Century Aluminum, the second-largest producer of primary aluminum in the U.S., told FOX Business on Friday that new tariffs would allow the company to invest a $100 million in new technology and add 200 more jobs.
“We are immediately going to go and reopen the shut production plant in Hawesville, Kentucky,” he said on FOX Business’ “Mornings with Maria.” “We think this action is a long time in coming.”
U.S. aluminum users
Companies that use aluminum to make beer cans, airplanes, cars and a slew of other products will likely be on the losing side of the tariffs.
Beer companies: MillerCoors
MillerCoors tweeted that it was “disappointed” with Trump’s announcement of a 10% tariff aluminum. “Like most brewers, we are selling an increasing amount of our beers in aluminum cans, and this action will cause aluminum prices to rise,” the company said in its posting. “It is likely to lead to job losses across the beer industry. 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 Beer Institute, a lobbyist that represents beer producers and importers, including MillerCoors, said the 10% tariff on aluminum could cost the industry $347.7 million and more than 20,000 jobs.
U.S. automakers: Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Tesla
The announcement of metal tariffs comes at a tough time for U.S. automakers, which have faced flattening sales in recent months. The tariffs will likely create higher prices for steel that could be passed on to customers.
The American Automotive Policy Council, a lobbyist that represents General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, said in a statement last month that tariffs on steel and and aluminum would lead to higher prices. "This would place the U.S. automotive industry, which supports more than 7 million American jobs, at a competitive disadvantage," Matt Blunt, the council's president, said in the statement.
The canned-food industry makes nearly 20 billion cans of food annually using tinplate steel. It employs tens of thousands of American workers. Companies such as Ardagh, Ball, Bush Brothers, BWAY, Conagra Brands, Del Monte Foods and Faribault Foods have all signed a letter to Trump urging him to exclude tinplate steel from any tariffs or trade restrictions to avoid driving up food costs.