WASHINGTON — The Beer Institute released the following statement on Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) introducing the Aluminum Pricing Examination (APEX) Act (S. 3569), which would provide the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) the clear jurisdiction to conduct oversight – and investigate as needed – price reporting and price setting entities within aluminum markets.
“We appreciate Senator Cory Gardner introducing bipartisan legislation to allow more oversight of price reporting and price setting entities within aluminum markets,” said Jim McGreevy, President, and CEO of the Beer Institute. “Last year, America’s brewers spent $5 billion on aluminum cans. We need to ensure the Commodities Futures Trading Commission and U.S. Department of Justice examine aluminum pricing irregularities so unfair market practices do not disproportionately harm end users, such as the beer industry.
“The Midwest Premium, created by metal producers years ago, was originally intended to cover the logistical costs of moving metal into North America – essentially a shipping and handling fee. But over time, the Midwest Premium has become a device to speculate and artificially inflate the price paid for aluminum at the expense of end-user businesses and consumers. Since January it has increased by as much as 135 percent – far more than the 10 percent tariff would warrant.
“All industries require predictability and accountability. In order to compete, American brewers need a fair and transparent pricing system for aluminum.”
The APEX Act allows the U.S. Department of Justice to work in conjunction with the CFTC on any information relating to anti-competitive conduct in the reporting of aluminum prices, providing clarity on which agencies have jurisdictional authorities over these price reporting entities.
Last month, Reps. Ken Buck (R-CO) and Jim Costa (D-CA) introduced the bipartisan House version (H.R. 6927).
Facts about America’s beer industry and aluminum:
- The Beer Institute estimates the beer industry could lose 20,000 jobs because of the aluminum tariffs and increased cost of aluminum.
- Last year, the beer industry purchased 36 billion aluminum cans and aluminum bottles.
- In 2017, brewers spent $5 billion on aluminum cans, which contain about $2.7 billion worth of aluminum.
- More than 60 percent of all beer produced and sold in the United States is packaged in aluminum cans and aluminum bottles.
- Cans are the single most substantial input cost in American beer manufacturing.
- More than 2.2 million Americans owe their livelihoods to beer in some way – and many of those jobs are in manufacturing.
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.