Can Manufacturers Disappointed in President’s Decision on Import Tariffs

Country Exemptions Not Enough; Need to Exempt Steel and Aluminum Used to Make Food and Beverage Cans

Washington, DC – March 8, 2018 --The Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) is disappointed the Trump Administration has proceeded with its ill-advised decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum.

“The U.S. can manufacturers depend on stable, fair and robust markets for steel and aluminum to manufacture the 119 billion food, beverage, aerosol and general line cans Americans use every day,” said CMI President Robert Budway. “Our initial calculations are the tariffs will increase the cost of the can by nearly 1 cent.  This 1 cent average increase translates into $1.1 billion that our industry and consumers will unnecessarily pay to the U.S. government.”

“We appreciate the President temporarily exempting Canada and Mexico from this tariff,” Budway said, “but we still strongly encourage an exemption for the specific steels and aluminum products used to make food and beverage cans.”

The can industry relies on imported metal to make up for shortfalls of domestic steel and aluminum production.  U.S. steel producers are unable to satisfy domestic demand for food, aerosol and other can production; CMI testified that 42 percent of tinplate steel needs to be imported to manufacture food cans that provide nutritious product for American consumers.  More than 60 percent of primary aluminum needs to be imported from foreign sources to produce aluminum cansheet used to manufacture beverage cans.

Budway continued, “Tariffs on aluminum and steel will artificially distort pricing of these metals. Consumers and our industry’s workers and their families will ultimately pay the price of these punitive actions. We encourage the President to reconsider these tariffs.  We do not want tariffs to offset the tremendous benefits the President’s tax and regulatory reforms brought to our industry and our 22,000 American workers.”


The 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 119 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.

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