Beer Institute Alleges Aluminum Sellers Overcharge Beverage Canners
The Beer Institute has alleged that aluminum companies have been charging tariff prices to beverage companies that can their products despite the tariff only applying to a portion of the aluminum in their cans. The tariff is imposed on imported aluminum scrap, which accounts for about 30 percent of the aluminum used to create beverage cans—the other 70 percent is composed of aluminum scrap collected domestically—but aluminum companies have been charging as if all of their aluminum is subject to the tariffs, Beer Institute argues.
The organization worked with Harbor Aluminum, “an independent authority on the aluminum industry and its markets,” which purportedly found that “while the U.S. beverage industry paid an equivalent to $250 million in Section 232 tariffs for aluminum cansheet during March to December 2018, the U.S. government collected only around $50 million of that amount,” according to a Beer Institute press release. “Harbor Aluminum estimates U.S. smelters got roughly $27 million and U.S. rolling mills around $173 million, by charging end-users a tariff-paid price as if the entire product of aluminum cansheet consisted of imported primary aluminum.”