Beer Institute CEO Discusses Latest on Tariffs (Video)

As the clock turned to midnight, the exemption on aluminum and steel tariffs expired on Canada, the European Union and Mexico. The levies imposed by President Donald Trump — 25 percent on foreign steel and 10 percent on aluminum — will now be collected from the nation’s trade allies, who have subsequently threatened to impose their own tariffs on U.S. exports.

According to the Beer Institute (BI), the tariffs on imported aluminum and steel are expected to cost the beer industry an estimated $347 million.

“The Beer Institute and its members stand united against the recently imposed tariffs on imported aluminum,” McGreevy said, via a statement. “Over the long run, these tariffs will drive aluminum prices higher globally, increasing the cost of beer production for all brewers.”

McGreevy, who spoke to Brewbound about the tariffs’ impact on U.S. brewing companies, said his organization plans to work with other industries’ trade groups to continue lobbying against the new regulations.

“The more stories we can tell about the impact on businesses large and small, the more chance we have to either end these tariffs or mitigate their impact,” he said.

In response to President Trump ending the exemptions on tariffs for U.S. allies, the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) issued its own statement condemning the decision.

“By choosing not to exempt America’s key trading partners from the 10 percent aluminum tariff, the administration is creating a new tax on the American beer industry and its consumers,” said Craig Purser, the CEO of the NBWA. “Let’s be clear, this tariff will hurt brewers, distributors, licensed retailers and beer lovers alike. On behalf of America’s 3,000 independent beer distributors that proudly employ 135,000 hardworking men and women across the country, NBWA stands opposed to these tariffs and the harm they will cause American businesses and consumers.”

Meanwhile, Brewers Association (BA) president and CEO Bob Pease told Brewbound that more than 125 brewers hit about 350 congressional offices on Thursday to lobby against the tariffs and ask for an extension of the excise tax cuts achieved via the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act.

“We got a tremendous reception up on the hill,” he said. “We’ve come a long way in nine years.”

In those meetings, Pease said there was “not a lot of support expressed for the imposition of tariffs.”

Brewbound stopped by the Beer Institute’s Washington, D.C., offices to discuss the news with CEO Jim McGreevy. Watch the video above.

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