Continuing trade war will harm beer, wine, and spirits producers; raise prices for consumers, says the American Beverage Institute

Washington, D.C. (September 21, 2018)—New developments in the trade war between the U.S. and the rest of the world are set to escalate on Monday. After the U.S. affirmed further trade sanctions on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, Beijing responded with its own additional tariffs on $60 billion of imported U.S. products—which include a 10 percent tariff on beer, wine, and spirits. The measures are set to go into effect Monday.

“Tariffs rarely benefit anyone and the alcohol industry, along with Americans who enjoy a glass of their favorite beer, wine or spirit, is no exception,” said Jackson Shedelbower, communications director of the American Beverage Institute (ABI). “U.S. imposed trade penalties are an extra tax on American businesses and consumers, while retaliatory tariffs instituted by foreign governments cripple expansion into foreign markets.”

These recent developments follow broad tariffs that were imposed on imported steel and aluminum earlier this year. Those measures negatively impacted many U.S. industries—notably American beer producers that fill and sell roughly 36 billion aluminum cans and bottles annually.

“While short-term tariffs may be useful as a negotiating tactic, a drawn-out trade war will inevitably hurt businesses, individuals and the broader economy. The U.S. and foreign leaders need to return to the negotiating table before the situation escalates further.”

In Depth on the Issue


Tariffs are no more than another tax on American businesses and consumers. While the financial burden is first applied to the business that imports the product, it quickly trickles down the supply chain—increasing productions costs, shrinking sales for domestic businesses, and ultimately increasing prices at the cash register. The current…
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