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Bad Tariffs Threaten Canning and Food Security

Amid all of the news of the recent elections, it is more important than ever that our leaders come together on common sense issues that have support from both sides of the political battlefield. Inflation is a major problem hurting Americans, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the cost of food, clothing and housing is still inflated. 

Legislation removing punitive tariffs, like Section 232, is an increasingly popular option that has bipartisan support and would ease costs for businesses and consumers.

While Congress has recently passed laws to reduce inflation, these policies will be slow to implement. Struggling consumers and businesses cannot wait that long. Fortunately, there is a collaborative effort across the battlefield in both chambers to eliminate tariffs that inflate the price of a crucial raw material: aluminum. 

Aluminum prices have skyrocketed since harmful Section 232 tariffs were implemented in 2018. Prior to Section 232, aluminum cost $1,600 per tonne. Now, aluminum is selling at close to $2,400 per tonne. These tariffs were meant to protect American American industry, yet a recent study from the Congressional Research Service shows that primary aluminum production has actually dropped while these tariffs were in place. With low domestic production and imported aluminum increasingly expensive, consumers must pay more for the same goods. 

This is bad news for the aluminum industry. Many critical industries depend on affordable aluminum for raw materials and finished goods. Section 232 has increased the operating cost of these foundational segments of our economy and causes disruptions for businesses and, therefore, consumers. Farmers, factory workers, and families should not have to foot this bill. 

The canning process is also hurt by high aluminum costs. This practice is essential for storing food for the winter. Higher metal prices hurt farmers’ budgets and threaten bottom lines. That means prices climb for grocers trying to support local farms and consumers shopping in their community stores. 
For more information about these tariffs and Section 232, visit What Tariffs Are, and How Do They Affect You? (investopedia.com), The Long-Term Risks of “National Security” Tariffs Have Appeared – U.S. Wheat Associates (uswheat.org), and Tariffs threaten national and economic security (theday.com).

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