President Trump’s plan to impose a 10% tariff on imported aluminum could cost the beer industry 20,000 jobs, according to Jim McGreevy, CEO of The Beer Institute.
“I saw a report earlier today upwards of 140,000 jobs could be lost in this country. We think the estimate for beer is about 20,000, that’s brewers, brewery workers, waitresses, bartenders [and] truck drivers,” he told FOX Business Liz Claman on “Countdown to the Closing Bell.”
Beer brewing company MillerCoors lashed out against the tariff, saying they were “disappointed with Trump’s announcement” and that if the tax is put into place, it could “lead to job losses across the beer industry.” In addition to the aluminum tariff, Trump has proposed a 25% tariff on imported steel.
More than half of the beer produced in the United States is sold in cans and this is partially due to the fact that cans are cheaper and easier to ship than bottles.
“Well our biggest complaint really is that tariffs are taxes. For the beer industry, potentially $347 million a year in taxes and we’re very concerned that tariffs…on aluminum will lead to higher prices on America’s brewers and beer importers,” McGreevy said.
White House Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Jupiter Aluminum President Paul-Henri Chevalier have both told FOX Business that the impact of the aluminum tariff will have a minimal impact on the beer industry.
“There’s a lot of things that go into the cost of beer. I think it’s hard for the secretary or even for us at this moment without this formally being implemented to know what the cost of beer will be,” McGreevy said.
He added that farmers could also be negatively impacted by the aluminum tariff because barley is one of the main ingredients of beer.
“It also effects farmers [because] 6.8 billion pounds of barley was grown in this country last year, one million of which was exported. One hundred six million pounds of hops… these are important sectors in the economy and parts of the country that can be affected by these tariffs,” he said.