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CMI tells Trump administration no tariffs needed for aluminum used to make beverage cans

The Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) has told the US Commerce Department that aluminum can sheets and aluminum ingot, which are used to make beverage cans, are not a security risk that requires intervention in the form of tariffs or trade restrictions.

CMI testified at the U.S. Commerce Department hearing on the effects of imports on aluminum on U.S. national security and stated that any proposed tariff or trade restrictions could have the potential to increase the cost of aluminum beverage cans consumed by U.S. consumers.

First, aluminum used to make can packaging is a unique alloy and is not suitable or used by the defense industry for any national security application.

CMI noted the unintended consequence of a trade action against aluminum can sheet and primary aluminum is disruption along the supply chain. Like most industries, can makers depend on predictability in supply and price.

 If the aluminum supply is hindered by unnecessary tariffs or trade restrictions, it could lead to supply inefficacies and affect product availability. Meanwhile, over the past five years, aluminum can manufacturers invested well over $1 billion in U.S. manufacturing facilities. Even a small tariff will result in greater uncertainty about prices, supply and financing and would dramatically curtail investment and hiring in the United States.

CMI noted that currently 66 percent of primary aluminum imported into the United States comes from Canada. In fact, only 1-2 percent of aluminum products come from China. Primary aluminum is not commercially available in the United States.

Finally, a tariff on aluminum products would put an unfair tax on the can manufacturing industry, putting aluminum cans at a disadvantage with competitive packaging, such as glass and plastic. This would ultimately harm U.S. consumers, who would pay more for canned beverage products.

With these concerns in mind, CMI urged the U.S. Department of Commerce to exempt aluminum can sheet used to make beverage containers and other aluminum products from any tariff or other trade action.  

Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) is the national trade association of the metal can manufacturing industry and its suppliers in the United States.

The can industry accounts for the annual domestic production of approximately 124 billion food, beverage and other metal cans; which employs more than 28,000 people with plants in 33 states, Puerto Rico and American Samoa; and generates about $17.8 billion in direct economic activity. CMI members are committed to providing safe, nutritious and refreshing canned food and beverages to consumers.