Tariffs Tapping into US Craft Beer Industry – Voice of America

MILWAUKEE — 

When Dan Katt opened Good City Brewing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2016 – a presidential election year – a trade war between the Trump administration and China was the furthest thing from his mind.

“I don’t think we even contemplated that that administration would exist,” he told VOA.

He also didn’t consider how one decision in particular – canning his beer for distribution instead of bottling it – would challenge his business growth.

“We always planned to can our products. I don’t think we necessarily expected to have our single biggest expense – packaging materials – to be affected by tariffs.”

Katt’s cans are made of aluminum, and much of his supply comes from China. It’s now subject to a 10 percent tariff.

“The price of aluminum is a concern. When we buy, we buy in lots of about 215,000 cans at a time,” says Katt. “When we go back to market, which we’ll be doing very soon, we expect to see a price increase on cans.”

The Trump administration imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum to bolster U.S. producers of those metals and protect U.S. jobs in those industries. The tariffs are starting to impact many other segments of the U.S. economy, including the growing craft beer industry, that need aluminum and steel to make their products.

President Donald Trump says the tariffs are working.

A woman wearing a uniform with the logo of an American produce company helps a customer shop for apples a supermarket in Beijing, China, March 23, 2018.

“We have taken historic action to bring back American jobs by cracking down on China’s very abusive trade practices, but that’s going to work out, taking in billions and billions of taxes from China – never happened before, but they want

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