Walker, MillerCoors balk at Trump tariff proposal

Brewing giant hints at job losses in beer industry

Scott Walker
Gov. Scott Walker

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:08 pm

Gov. Scott Walker and MillerCoors both balked at President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs, particularly those on aluminum.

Trump on Thursday said that he would impose stiff tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. The action would impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

Today, Walker issued a statement asking Trump to reconsider the potential tariff on aluminum, arguing it could cost jobs.

Scott Walker
Gov. Scott Walker

“If the President wants to protect good-paying, family-supporting jobs in America, especially here in Wisconsin, then he should reconsider the administration’s position on these tariffs, particularly on ultra-thin aluminum,” Walker said. “As I described to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross last year, there is not a market in America that can support the demand for ultra-thin aluminum for employers here in Wisconsin and across the country.”

In a series of tweets Thursday, brewing giant MillerCoors said it was disappointed in the decision and said “it is likely to lead to job losses across the beer industry.

“We buy as much domestic can sheet aluminum as is available, however, there simply isn’t enough supply to satisfy the demands of American beverage makers like us. American workers and American consumers will suffer as a result of this misguided tariff,” MillerCoors tweeted.

The brewer has upwards of 1,400 employees in Milwaukee.

‘Ironically, American companies who will feel the negative impact of the tariffs can actually move their operations to another country, such as Canada, and not face new tariffs on the sale of their products. This scenario would lead to the exact opposite outcome of the administration’s stated objective, which is to protect American jobs,” Walker said.

Trump’s plans also drew criticism from U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, who called them “concerning” and House Speaker Paul Ryan. A Ryan spokesman said the speaker hoped Trump would look at other approaches, according to The Hill. 

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers manufacturing for BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.