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Beer Institute Applauds House Agriculture Passing Legislation Requiring Study of Aluminum Markets


WASHINGTON, DC –Jim McGreevy, President and CEO of the Beer Institute—a national trade association representing brewers, beer importers, and industry suppliers—released the following statement praising the House Agriculture Committee including a U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) study of the aluminum markets as part of legislation to reauthorize the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission.

“The Beer Institute commends the bipartisan leadership of the House Agriculture Committee for including a GAO study of the aluminum markets as part of legislation to reauthorize the CFTC. We thank Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Ranking Member Mike Conaway (R-TX) for recognizing the need to examine what is happening in the aluminum markets, explicitly focusing on oversight of the aluminum market.

“Due to the combination of recently imposed tariffs on imported primary aluminum and a complicated, obscure pricing system known as the Midwest Premium, in the nearly two years since the implementation of tariffs on imported aluminum, brewers of all sizes have seen their aluminum prices skyrocket. From March 2018 through July 2019, America’s beverage industries paid an additional $458 million on the 2.33 million metric tons of aluminum it purchased. However, a recent analysis conducted by a leading economic firm shows that the U.S. Treasury only collected 16% of this sum totaling about $73 million.

“Currently, no federal agency has oversight of the Midwest Premium, enabling companies in the aluminum supply chain to charge a tariffed-priced Midwest Premium even on aluminum not subject to the tariff.  And our nation’s brewers are paying the bill.

“We hope that the full House of Representatives, as well as the Senate, passes legislation containing this GAO study so that the President can sign it into law.

“While Congress continues to consider reauthorizing the CFTC, it should also pass the Aluminum Pricing Examination (APEX) Act. This bipartisan bill sponsored by Representatives Al Lawson (D-FL) and Ken Buck (R-CO), along with Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) would provide the CFTC and Department of Justice the necessary authority to conduct oversight over price benchmarking entities, including those that publish the Midwest Premium.

” A thorough analysis, along with much-needed transparency  to the U.S. aluminum market, will ensure the price brewers pay for aluminum reflects market fundamentals.”