Transparency in aluminum premium pricing essential for economic growth
WASHINGTON, July 22, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Trade associations representing some of America’s top industries and employers today praised Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) for reintroducing the Aluminum Pricing Examination (APEX) Act, bipartisan legislation that would bring transparency to aluminum price reporting and provide stability for American workers and job creators. The legislation is identical to H.R. 2698, bipartisan legislation introduced in the House of Representatives in April.
“We applaud Senators Baldwin and Cotton for their work to ensure aluminum costs reflect market fundamentals,” said Jim McGreevy, president and CEO of the Beer Institute. “The APEX Act is a commonsense proposal that will provide much-needed transparency to aluminum pricing. Aluminum is the largest commodity cost for brewers, and the beer industry supports more than 2 million jobs across the U.S. This legislation is critical for our nation’s brewers to continue to create good-paying jobs and invest in their operations.”
The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant job losses in the American beer industry in 2020, resulting in the loss of more than 568,000 jobs that the beer industry supports. Restoring confidence in the metals market will ultimately benefit American workers and the broader U.S. economy, including the millions of American consumers who purchase aluminum products every day.
“America’s beverage companies are proud to support jobs in every community across the country,” said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association. “We commend the bipartisan leadership of Senators Baldwin and Cotton to bring transparency, enhanced oversight and more certainty to a complicated metals pricing system which will ultimately benefit American workers and consumers.”
Almost one-third of all non-alcoholic beverages come in aluminum cans, and more than 74% of all beer produced and sold in the United States is packaged in aluminum cans and bottles. Aluminum used in cans is the single most substantial cost in American beverage and beer manufacturing.
According to a recent report by Harbor Aluminum, from March 2018 through December 2020, the Section 232 tariffs cost America’s beverage industries an additional $848.6 million. The tariffs have created significant costs on aluminum end-users, and these costs are only magnified by the problem inherent in the current aluminum premium pricing structure. When the tariffs are coupled with the effects of the pandemic, American businesses are faced with enormous costs, and American jobs and future investments are imperiled.
“As manufacturers face cost increases at every link in their supply chains, there could not be a more important moment for this legislation,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the Consumer Brands Association. “The APEX Act will bring more certainty and transparency for the consumer packaged goods industry – which depends on aluminum to make and package everything from aluminum foil to canned goods – and will allow the CPG industry to continue to deliver essential goods to the American people. We thank Senators Baldwin and Cotton for their leadership on this critical issue.”
Aluminum boats, for example, represent more than 40 percent of new boat sales each year and account for approximately $3 billion in retail sales. An estimated 22,000 American jobs rely on the aluminum sector of the marine industry, which has seen its aluminum prices spike, even for domestically produced aluminum. Further, marine manufacturers are not only suffering from inflated prices due to 232 tariffs but also retaliatory European Union tariffs on American-made boats and engines that have decreased U.S. exports to the E.U. by 42 percent.
“From driving up costs for essential raw materials to stifling exports to our top international markets, the Section 232 tariffs on aluminum and steel have created a myriad of unintended consequences for American boat builders,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, President of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “We thank Senators Baldwin and Cotton for picking up the baton and encourage every senator to support this critical measure.”
Aluminum is also a critical component in flexible packaging not only to maintain product freshness and safety but also to offer stiffness, integrity and sterility to the package. Aluminum foil is used in flexible packaging for many of the products that consumers purchase every day, whether in grocery stores, pet stores, retail stores, or pharmacies, as it is used for a variety of purposes, including food, beverage, and medical and pharmaceutical applications. Products in flexible packaging are also found in doctors’ offices, hospitals, and restaurants. When it comes to packaging for medical devices, food, and pharmaceuticals, quality is critical – literally a matter of life and death.
“Fine gauge aluminum foil is necessary for barrier protection and sterility in a host of food, pharmaceutical and medical device flexible packaging, and it is not available in the U.S. both in terms of quantity or quality. The Midwest Premium, on top of the current tariffs and duties on foil from outside the country, leaves U.S. converters vulnerable to competition from foreign suppliers of finished goods. In fact, these extra costs only injure the aluminum manufacturers’ customers and may destroy the very market they seek to protect,” said Alison Keane, president and CEO of the Flexible Packaging Association.
This bill is similar to S. 1953, bipartisan and bicameral legislation introduced in the 116th Congress.
About the Beer Institute
The Beer Institute is a national trade association for the American brewing industry, representing brewers of all sizes, as well as beer importers and industry suppliers. First founded in 1862 as the U.S. Brewers Association, the Beer Institute is committed today to the development of sound public policy and to the values of civic duty and personal responsibility. For additional updates from the Beer Institute, visit our website, follow @BeerInstitute on Twitter, like the Beer Institute on Facebook, and follow the Beer Institute on Instagram.
About American Beverage
American Beverage is the national trade organization representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages in the United States. Our member companies directly employ nearly a quarter-million people and have a direct economic impact of $169.7 billion. For more information, please visit www.balanceus.org and http://www.ameribev.org/.
About the Consumer Brands Association
The Consumer Brands Association champions the industry whose products Americans depend on every day, representing nearly 2,000 iconic brands. From household and personal care to food and beverage products, the consumer packaged goods industry plays a vital role in powering the U.S. economy, contributing $2 trillion to U.S. GDP and supporting more than 20 million American jobs.
About the National Marine Manufacturers Association
The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is dedicated to advocating for and promoting the strength of marine manufacturing, the sales and service networks of its members, and the boating lifestyle. NMMA is the nation’s leading trade association representing boat, marine engine and accessory manufacturers. Collectively, NMMA members manufacture an estimated 80 percent of marine products used in North America. NMMA is a unifying force and powerful voice for the recreational boating industry, working to strengthen and grow boating and protect the interests of its member companies. For more information, please visit www.nmma.org
About the Flexible Packaging Association
The Flexible Packaging Association is the voice of the U.S. manufacturers of flexible packaging and their suppliers. The association’s mission is connecting, advancing, and leading the flexible packaging industry. Flexible packaging represents over $33 billion in annual sales in the U.S. and is the second-largest and one of the fastest-growing segments of the packaging industry. Flexible packaging is produced from paper, plastic, film, aluminum foil, or any combination of those materials, and includes bags, pouches, labels, liners, wraps, rollstock, and other flexible products. Learn more at www.flexpack.org and www.perfectpackaging.org.
CONTACT: Alex Davidson Beer Institute firstname.lastname@example.org Danielle Smotkin American Beverage email@example.com John-Michael Donahue National Marine Manufacturers Association firstname.lastname@example.org Dani Diehlmann Flexible Packaging Association email@example.com Andrea Woods Consumer Brands Association firstname.lastname@example.org