Another round of surprise Trump tariffs are the president's remedy for weaker foreign currencies, but it could be bitter news for beer prices.
Donald Trump announced new tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Brazil and Argentina. The president says Brazil and Argentina’s currency devaluation is hurting American farmers. So he’s striking back with steel and aluminum tariffs until the South American countries tighten up the spigots.
We estimate $347 million additional cost on American brewers because of these tariffs… and upwards of 20,000 jobs could be lost in industries that are involved in our supply chain. -James McGreevy, Beer Institute President and CEO
The news sent the stock market reeling, reversing the Dow’s early Monday morning gains.
But investors might not be the only ones hit in the pocket book by more Trump tariffs. A six pack of cold brews could set drinkers back more money if aluminum prices rise.
The president of the Beer Institute went on a media tour last year to warn of rising beer prices due to the Trump tariffs. Maybe his warning worked.
Brazil and Argentina got exemptions from May 2018’s 25% steel tariffs and 10% aluminum tariffs. But now that Trump’s threatening to levy them again, the price of beer could rise. The U.S. imports nearly half a billion dollars worth of aluminum a year from Argentina.
Trump also essentially told the Federal Reserve that he’s doing their job for them. It’s an interesting insight into the president’s thinking. The Trump tariffs are calculated to accomplish what he thinks lower interest rates should. Maybe he wasn’t thinking about inflation of consumer prices, like the cost of beer.
Way to hand working class heroes like Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez another talking point. Trump’s last election victory hinged on support from blue collar workers. Maybe Trump can spin higher beer prices as his way of looking out for their health.