With Donald Trump in the White House, there has never been a time when Americans were in such need of lots, and lots, and lots of chemical brain-numbing. But while some people might want to spend the long weekend popping open a six pack or six, prepare to move to something more grape-based because American beer producers have been scaling back — to the tune of 40,000 jobs in the brewing industry.
According to Bloomberg, there are a couple of reasons that “master brewer” have become a dime a dozen. First, there’s been a long, slow decline in beer sales as consumers move away from the traditional brewsky to a wider range of alcoholic products. But the biggest immediate problem is tariffs.
Trump doesn’t have a tariff on beer, or ingredients like hops. Yet. But what he does have is a tariff on aluminum. That extra cost for things that ship in a can is causing brewers to back off new investment and idle production lines as increased prices take millions from their bottom lines.
A little extra cost in the brewing industry may seem like a small thing, but unlike the coal industry, brewing is big business. A two year study from the Beer Institute and National Beer Wholesalers Association said beer-related jobs fell from 2.23 million in 2016, to 2.19 million under Trump’s tariff regime. That’s a loss greater than every coal mining job east of the Mississippi.
Sure, Trump may have found one job for a beer enthusiast … but 40,000 is probably too large for even the biggest advocate of expanding the Supreme Court.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.