US breweries blame Trump’s tariffs for job losses

Breweries in the US have blamed the Trump administration’s metal tariffs for a loss of thousands of jobs in the beer industry since 2016.

A report published by the Beer Institute and National Beer Wholesalers Association has found that 40,000 jobs have been lost in breweries as tariffs on metal have inflated the cost of aluminium cans.

The study found that 2.19 million people were employed in the US’ beer industry in 2018, down from 2.23 million two years ago.

Suppliers to the brewing industry – enterprises that manufacture bottles and cans, cardboard case boxes, brewing equipment or marketing displays – generate nearly $102.0 billion in economic activity and are responsible for almost 436,650 jobs, according to the Beer Institute.

US president Donald Trump sparked a trade war with several countries after he implemented a 25% and 10% import tariffs on steel and aluminium respectively from 1 June 2018.

“Aluminum tariffs are increasing brewers’ costs and are an anchor on a vibrant industry,” the Beer Institute’s CEO Jim McGreevy said in an emailed statement. “Each brewer is deciding for themselves how to absorb that expense, whether it’s raising prices, laying off workers or delaying innovation and expansion.”

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