Montana Ag Producers, Breweries Concerned Over Trump Tariffs
President Donald Trump’s proposed 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports is a worrying prospect to many members of the Montana Chamber of Commerce. The chamber’s Government Relations Director Bridger Mahlum explains.
"We're hearing some concerns, especially from some ag producers that feel that the precedence that the steel and aluminum tariff could set could drift into that industry down the line and that the administrative cost of dealing with tariffs from different countries could really add to the cost of doing business in Montana," Malhum said. "That's something we're always trying to reduce as part of our ten year strategic plan."
Of course, if a trade war ensued, all kinds of different industries could be impacted, but those that use aluminum or steel would face changes the fastest. Malhum says brewers have been some of the most vocal in Montana.
"[Breweries] are major consumers of aluminum, and clearly not from Montana, I don't believe we have an aluminum facility left in Montana," Malhum said. "They rely on trade partnerships beyond our own country to be able to get the supplies they need at an effective price to be able to conduct business. We hear a lot from these brewers saying that the tariffs themselves could wipe out the tax reductions that came from federal tax reform."
Malhum says that because Montana doesn’t have steel and aluminum production facilities, state businesses aren’t in a position to benefit from the proposed tariffs.