The canned food industry and canned food makers asked President Donald Trump to exclude tinplate steel from tariffs or other restrictions based on the potential increases in manufacturing cost and American manufacturing jobs losses.

In a letter, signed by 25 groups representing various segments of the canned food industry, President Trump was asked to exempt tinplate steel because the cost of manufacturing canned food will rise and thousands of good-paying American manufacturing jobs will be threatened.

Domestic can manufacturers are dependent on tinplate steel imports to meet approximately 42 percent of U.S. canned food demand. U.S steel tinplate manufacturers cannot meet domestic demand.

The canned food industry, which generates more than $24 billion in total domestic economic activity, relies on a mix of domestic and imported tinplate steel to provide metal packaging for nutritious and safe food for all Americans.

The canned food industry makes nearly 20 billion cans of nutritious and healthy foods annually, using tinplate steel and employing tens of thousands of American workers. American food can producers and supplier partners generate more than $20 billion in total economic activity in the United States and pay more than $3 billion in federal and state taxes.

The canned food industry shared the economic implications of the proposed tariff by explaining that since tinplate steel makes up approximately 60 percent of the cost of a can, a tariff as low as five percent would result in increased can costs of approximately $1 billion per year. Given the industry’s thin margins, manufacturers cannot absorb this cost and will be forced to pass it on to consumers.

Canned foods represent a “value” proposition to consumers by providing nutritious fruits and vegetables in a convenient, shelf-stable, affordable package. If canned food manufacturers cannot maintain this “value” proposition for consumers, the industry and consumers will encounter a devastating hardship.

As domestic job creators, the can manufacturers and canned food companies want to work with the Trump Administration on bringing back confidence to the American economy. A tariff on imported tinplate steel would stifle growth and could mean the loss of manufacturing jobs for thousands of American workers and their families. 

The following groups signed the industry letter to exclude tinplate steel from any tariffs or trade restrictions: Ardagh Group, Ball Corporation, Bush Brothers, BWAY Corporation, California League of Food Processors, Can Manufacturers Institute, ConAgra Brands, Inc., Crown Holdings, Del Monte Foods, Faribault Foods, Inc., Furmano’s, Grocery Manufacturers Association, Hirzel Canning Co., Lakeside Foods, Midwest Food Processors Association, Morgan Foods, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, Northwest Food Processors Association, Pacific Coast Producers, Red Gold Foods, Seneca Foods Corporation, Shelf Stable Foods Association, Silgan Containers, Stanislaus Food Products, and Texas Food Processors Association.