Beer Makers Say Trump’s Trade War Kills 40,000 Jobs

Written by SK Ashby

Employment in the beer industry grew by 27 percent between 2014 and 2016, but the industry shed 40,000 jobs between 2017 and 2018 according to the beer lobby.

Industry representatives say Trump's tariffs on foreign metal have cut their margins and forced brewers to choose between raising prices or cutting labor costs.

From Bloomberg:

A report by two trade groups showed U.S. beer-industry jobs dropped 40,000 since 2016 as metal tariffs boosted aluminum-can costs, leading to a drop in investment. The biennial study by the Beer Institute and National Beer Wholesalers Association said direct, indirect and induced jobs fell to 2.19 million in 2018 from 2.23 million in 2016. [...

The shipping and logistics charge for delivering aluminum to the U.S. Midwest, known as the “premium,” more than doubled as Trump slapped a 10% tariff on imports of the metal. Molson Coors Brewing Co. estimated last year that the levies would create a $40 million hit to its bottom line.

A Beer Industry spokeswoman said Thursday in a statement that while the group can’t say tariffs are “100% to blame,” the evidence “supports that brewers are making fewer investments because of the added cost of aluminum.”

The Trump regime recently rescinded tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Canada and Mexico and while that may provide some relief to the industry, those are not the only nations we import metal from. Trump's tariffs on metal imported from countries outside North America remain on the books.

The price of beer is already as high as the industry can push it without losing sales, so cutting costs is the only option for most brewers.

Cutting costs will also be the only option for many small or independent businesses in other industries if Trump imposes tariffs on all remaining goods imported from China. Only the largest corporations have the ability to eat or maneuver around Trump's tariffs.