Trump Aluminum Tariff May Make Your Next Beer or Mac Cost More

2 minute read
| News

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.

MacBook Pro with tax collectors

New aluminum tariff could increase the price of your next Mac

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.

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.

9 Comments Add a comment

  1. Substance

    I find myself visiting this site less and less after being an almost daily visitor for over a decade. And while a lot of it has to do with getting older and having better priorities, it doesn’t seem to have affected my visiting of other Mac-related sites – none of which I visited as often as this one – nearly as much. Then I come across a story like this, and I think I have a better understanding why my visits here are becoming fewer and far between.

    The question of whether aluminum tariffs will affect Mac and iOS prices is certainly a valid one, but only 3 paragraphs our of the 8 in this story talk about Apple and they happen to be the first one and the last two. The rest only presents views in opposition to the tariff plan, without even an hint about why the tariffs might be seen as a good thing by anyone, including the President himself. Sorry, this is not Mac-related journalism, this is one-sided political propaganda.

    • quakerotis

      Go to school. Read a book. Take Econ 101. Learn why tariffs are predatory and only cause the economy of the issuing company weaker.

      • Substance

        It may surprise you to know that I have taken a couple intro econ classes and I’m skeptical about the tariffs to boot. My point wasn’t the validity of the tariffs, it was the fact that I don’t come to a Mac web site for political analysis (and one-sided analysis at that). I do come here for Mac news. How the tariffs affect Mac prices is a valid article on a Mac web site, but most of the article has nothing to do with that.

  2. iGrouch

    In response to the above and taking a European perspective on this, I have no problem if a country wants to apply tariffs if it thinks it will somehow protect the livelihoods of its own citizens and anyone who chooses and is allowed to be a citizen of said country. I’ll add that this doesn’t make a certain leader less of a D*&%K and, no, in essence the article is not one sided political propaganda.

    The problem of this article, is that it doesn’t address the real problem. The high price Apple charges for hardware to start with. I’d suggest they are in a position to incorporate the increased cost of materials. Maybe they might even drop the prices a little. It could even be good for market share and be more inclusive; less of the computing for the upper-middle classes only.

  3. quakerotis

    The predatory trump makes another move to cripple America. Investigate. Impeach. Indict. Imprison.

    Rinse and repeat.

  4. geoduck

    While I don’t disagree, my money is on that not happening. In fact I would not be surprised if he got a second term.
    I lived through the W Bush junta. We called for the same thing. We pointed out obvious criminality. We marched and protested and were very active. Nothing happened. Nobody cared.
    That’s why I’m not in then US any more.

  5. skipaq

    I’ve heard more praise from Democratic pundits for the tariffs than from Republicans who usually run on free trade pledges. The Republicans do not like this. My dad was a diehard Democrat all his life and he would absolutely love the tariffs. He would tell me this is pro-labor and only greedy corporations would oppose this. It seems politics is upside down.

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