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MillerCoors, Governor Walker, Senator Johnson come out strongly against proposed aluminum tariff

Updated: 3:27 p.m. March 2, 2018

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Governor Walker has joined the ranks of Senator Johnson and MillerCoors by issuing a statement against President Trump's proposal to implement tariffs to steel and aluminum:

"If the President wants to protect good-paying, family-supporting jobs in America, especially here in Wisconsin, then he should reconsider the administration's position on these tariffs, particularly on ultra-thin aluminum. As I described to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross last year, there is not a market in America that can support the demand for ultra-thin aluminum for employers here in Wisconsin and across the country.

"Ironically, American companies who will feel the negative impact of the tariffs can actually move their operations to another country, such as Canada, and not face new tariffs on the sale of their products. This scenario would lead to the exact opposite outcome of the administration's stated objective, which is to protect American jobs. 

"With this in mind, I respectfully ask the President and hisadministration to reconsider their position on these tariffs."


Posted: 10:09 a.m. March 2, 2018

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- MillerCoors has released a statement critical of President Trump's proposed tariff on imports of steel and aluminum. On Wednesday Trump summoned steel and aluminum execs to the White House and told them he would levy penalties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports.

The President tweeted Thursday morning that "we must protect our country and our workers" saying the the steel industry is in bad shape.

Some critical to the proposed tariff say that it could start a trade war with other countries who may then in turn increase tariffs on U.S. exports. The stock market took a tumble after the news on Thursday.

The MillerCoors statement said they are "disappointed" with the President's announcement specifically in regards to aluminum. MillerCoors uses a large amount of aluminum cans to sell beer and said the action will likely cause prices to rise. 

Here's the full statement:

"We are disappointed with President Trump’s announcement of a 10% tariff on aluminum. While we won’t know the details for a week, the Department of Defense recently reported that aluminum does not cause any national security issues. Like most brewers, we are selling an increasing amount of our beers in aluminum cans, and this action will cause aluminum prices to rise. It is likely to lead to job losses across the beer industry. We buy as much domestic can sheet aluminum as is available, however, there simply isn’t enough supply to satisfy the demands of American beverage makers like us. American workers and American consumers will suffer as a result of this misguided tariff."

University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Lecturer Kevin Spellman agrees with MillerCoors and says that the proposed tariffs could have negative effects on consumers.

“The tariffs will raise the price of your beer can,” Kevin Spellman, UWM Senior Finance Lecturer, said. “They'll raise the cost of your automobile. They'll raise the price of your airline. They'll raise the price of chemicals.”

Spellman says other countries could retaliate, which could lead to even higher costs and inflation. Heexplains the possible short, medium, and long term impacts of the tariff in the video below:

Web Exclusive: What the aluminum tariff means for you from CBS 58 News on Vimeo.

Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin also came out against the proposed increase issuing a statement that said the announcement would directly impact Wisconsin manufacturers.

“The president’s announcement that he plans to levy higher taxes on materials that Wisconsin’s manufacturers and consumers purchase is concerning. I plan to work with my colleagues and the administration to ensure fair, robust trade policies that protect our state’s workers and consumers.”
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