The cost of canned foods products in the US could rise by up to 30% and 40,000 manufacturing jobs be put at risk if the country implements a tinplate steel import tariff, trade body the Consumer Brands Association (CBA) has claimed.
The CBA has released two studies in partnership with two research groups – Trade Partnership Worldwide and The Juday Group – it said demonstrates the adverse effects that would result from implementing proposed tariffs of up to 300% on the imports.
It is urging the US Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission (ITC) to deny a petition submitted by US steel conglomerate Cleveland-Cliffs to impose stringent tariffs on imported tinplate steel from eight countries – Canada, China, Germany, the Netherlands, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey and the UK.
“Because tinplate is used in hundreds of canned goods – everything from soup to shaving cream – imposing the requested tariffs would raise production costs for US can manufacturers and trigger price hikes for every consumer, as supported by the research,” it said.
David Chavern, the CBA’s CEO, said: “The Department of Commerce and ITC need to thoroughly review the facts of the case, including these two economic impact studies, and issue a decision that doesn’t prop up one company at the expense of an entire domestic industry and the consumers that rely on these essential products.”
According to the research conducted by The Juday Group, the proposed tariffs will increase the cost of canned foods and products by up to $0.58 per product.
The Trade Partnership Worldwide research concluded that for every steelmaking job that might be protected, 600 US manufacturing jobs will be put at risk.
Robert Budway, president of the Can Manufacturers Institute, said: “Steel can manufacturing is an important industry that brings nutritious foods to every pantry or kitchen in America. If this can tax is imposed, it will not only harm our industry, it will also harm consumers, especially those who rely on affordable and accessible canned foods.
“What is intended as a tool to protect US manufacturers will have the exact opposite impact because can makers need access to certain steels not even made in the US.”
Just Food has asked the Department of Commerce and the ITC for their response to the CBA’s claims, outside of US office hours.