News & Media
Beer Institute Statement on USMCA SigningNovember 30, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Beer Institute’s President and CEO, Jim McGreevy, released the following statement after the United States, Mexico and Canada signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA):
“We’re glad to see the administration sign the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a trade deal with our country’s largest trading partners. NAFTA was long overdue for review and update, and we appreciate all parties coming together to strike an agreement. However, the Beer Institute does not believe the deal is complete until the administration eliminates all steel and aluminum tariffs. Additionally, we do not support quotas in lieu of tariffs because quotas limit growth.
“The Beer Institute and its members stand united against the tariffs and any quotas on imported aluminum. Tariffs are taxes, and these tariffs are a $347 million tax on the U.S. beer industry, increasing the cost of beer production for brewers, who used more than 36 billion aluminum bottles and cans last year.
“In addition to lifting the tariffs — which could cost the beer industry more than 20,000 jobs — the administration should lead an inquiry into the dramatic aluminum cost increases brewers have seen this year. We believe these increases are opportunistic and disconnected from market fundamentals. Every aluminum user in North America, including brewers, must pay the Midwest Premium as part of the price to purchase metal. The Midwest Premium is supposed to reflect the logistical costs of sourcing metal, for example, the cost of transporting aluminum. However, the Midwest Premium has more than doubled since the beginning of 2018, and the increase cannot be tied solely to increases in actual logistical costs. Even if some countries receive exemptions, as long as there is any tariffed aluminum in the United States the one company reporting the premium could continue to charge an inflated price.
“In order to thrive, American brewers need a fair and transparent pricing system for aluminum with predictability and accountability in the metals market. The federal government should investigate the unregulated Midwest Premium to ensure pricing irregularities and other unfair market practices do not disproportionately have a harmful effect on brewers.”
The Beer Institute is a national trade association for the American brewing industry, representing brewers of all sizes, as well as beer importers and industry suppliers. First founded in 1862 as the U.S. Brewers Association, the Beer Institute is committed today to the development of sound public policy and to the values of civic duty and personal responsibility. For additional updates from the Beer Institute, visit our website, follow @BeerInstitute on Twitter, like the Beer Institute on Facebook, and follow the Beer Institute on Instagram.
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