Beer, cars, and Macs could all cost more soon thanks to a tariff Donald Trump is imposing on imported aluminum and steel. The White House hasn’t said if the tariffs will be on the amount of metal in a product or the overall value of the imported item, so it’s unclear how much more your next Mac, iPhone, or iPad will cost.
Mr. Trump said on Thursday he plans to impose a 25% tariff on imported steel and a 10% tariff on imported aluminum as early as next week. The policy hasn’t been completed and Trump said it’s “being written now.” He implied the policy will be in place indefinitely when he told domestic steel and aluminum manufacturers, “you’ll have protection for a long time in a while.”
The idea that the tariffs will help the U.S. economy and preserve jobs isn’t, however, getting much support. Even House Speaker Paul Ryan, a staunch Trump supporter, is urging the White House to “consider the unintended consequences of this idea and look at other approaches before moving forward,” according to CNN.
Considering how heavily the beer and soft drink industries rely on aluminum for cans, it’s no surprise there’s pushback there, too. MillerCoors took to Twitter to speak out against the planned tariffs saying the company is “disappointed,” and that there isn’t enough domestically produced aluminum to meet demand.
MillerCoors 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. (1/3)
— MillerCoors (@MillerCoors) March 1, 2018
Anheuser-Busch InBev CFO Felipe Dutra expressed the same sentiment saying,
About 2 million jobs depend on America’s beer industry. We urge the Department of Commerce and U.S. President Trump to consider the impact of trade restriction tariffs.
In other words, the beverage industry uses a lot of aluminum. Companies like MillerCoors, AB InBev, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi are looking at a significant increase in production costs.
For Apple, the cost increase most likely won’t be as significant. Depending on how the White House decides to calculate its new tariffs, cost to bring Macs, iPhone, and iPads manufactured outside the U.S. into the country could go up by a couple dollars, or it could be more, especially if it’s calculated on the price of the product.
Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster told Bloomberg he thinks Apple’s per-device costs will increase by 0.2%, assuming the tariffs are imposed on raw materials. Assuming he’s right, we shouldn’t have to deal with sticker shock when we buy our next Mac—which is good because we could be paying a lot more for our beer.