Local businesses concerned about effects of new steel, aluminum tariffs

Local News

Yeehaw Brewing out of Johnson City uses aluminum cans to distribute beer as far west as Nashville and as far south as Alabama. President Donald Trump implemented a new tax on imported aluminum and steel earlier this week and now the company is wondering how this will affect canning. 

“All of our products are put in a can,” said Jeremy Walker with Yeehaw. “We don’t know what’s going to happen but at this time my biggest concern is we don’t want prices to go up.”

The president says there will be 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent on aluminum except when imported from Mexico and Canada. He says there could still be exemptions and possible changes. 

Arconic in Alcoa, who uses aluminum to manufacture several products, provided the following statement: 

“The administration has just made its announcement and it will take time for us to evaluate any potential impact on Arconic’s business. That said, we share the concerns of many others who have highlighted the potential negative impacts of a global tariff on manufacturing and jobs in the united states.”

With the tariffs newly announced and not in effect yet, that will come in a couple of weeks, Maryville College Economic professor Reeves Johnson says it’s hard to tell how this will effect the economy but notes there are more people purchasing steel and aluminum than producing them.

“On balance I would say, if these tariffs were to go through as they are stated today, the economy would be hurt by them more than helped by them,” said Johnson.

Walker says he is trying to worry about it until it is clear what will happen. 

“None of us know what’s going to happen until it does happen,” said Walker. “We’ll have to move with whatever and like I said before, our biggest concern I think as an industry is that prices don’t go up.”

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