Beer Institute launches website to highlight aluminium tariffs

The Beer Institute, the oldest national trade organisation representing the beer industry, launched to educate consumers and lawmakers about the Midwest Premium (MWP). 

The MWP is a pricing system that allows aluminium producers to charge end-users a tariff on non-tariffed metal. There is currently no regulatory body overseeing the usage of the MWP.

“The Midwest Premium has evolved into a black box that artificially drives up the price of aluminium for end-users, including the maker of your favourite beer,” said Brian Crawford, president and CEO of the Beer Institute. 

“Over the last five years, the American beverage industry has paid nearly $2 billion in Section 232 aluminium tariffs, in large part due to the MWP, which allows aluminium companies to charge inflated prices with no oversight. is a step toward holding companies accountable, bringing transparency and competition back to the aluminium market and delivering relief for the brewers and countless other industries hurt by inflated aluminium prices.”

U.S. brewers continue to face high costs due to Section 232 aluminium tariffs which are compounded by the MWP. During the pandemic, demand for aluminium bottles and cans skyrocketed, and now more than 74 percent of all beer produced in the United States is packaged in an aluminium can or bottle.

Research conducted by HARBOR Aluminium on behalf of the Beer Institute found that the U.S. beverage industry paid $1.893 billion in Section 232 tariffs on 9.042 million metric tons of aluminium since the implementation of the tariffs. Of that amount, only $126 million (7%) went to the U.S. Treasury. 

HARBOR Aluminium estimates U.S. rolling mills, U.S. smelters and Canadian smelters received $1.767 billion (93 percent) of the total by charging end-users – such as U.S. brewers – a tariff-burdened price regardless of whether the metal was meant to be tariffed based on its content or origin.

Last July, the CEOs of four of America’s largest brewers sent a letter to President Biden calling on him to repeal Section 232 tariffs on aluminium. They said, “tariffs reverberate throughout the supply chain, raising production costs for aluminium end-users and ultimately impacting consumer prices.”

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