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East Tennessee businesses react to proposed steel and aluminum tariffs

The proposed tariffs would increase the price of aluminum and steel, impacting industries from brewing to car manufacturing.

Bar talk doesn't usually include the price of steel or new tariffs on aluminum, but at Blackhorse Brewery, the cans, or rather what they're made of, have become a hot topic of discussion.

"I hope it doesn't happen. From our perspective, I don't see how it's a good thing," said Jeff Robinson, owner of Blackhorse Brewery. "We're putting beer into aluminum cans, and if the price of aluminum goes up, the price of our end product goes up."

The tariffs proposed by President Donald Trump would increase the price of aluminum and steel, impacting industries from brewing to car manufacturing.

MORE: Congressional Republicans push President Trump to soften approach on tariffs

MORE: How Trump's proposed steel, aluminum tariffs affect you

If the new tariffs are imposed, breweries like Blackhorse may have to increase their prices by 6 to 12 cents per 6 pack. Ultimately, it will be the consumer who picks up the tab.

"If it costs us a penny more per can or two pennies more per can to buy our cans, then we don't have much choice but to pass that cost on," Robinson said.

Breweries aren't the only East Tennessee businesses opposed to the proposed 10% tariff on aluminum.

MORE: 5 ways U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum could affect American consumers

Arconic in Alcoa, which used to be part of the Alcoa company, uses aluminum to manufacture everything from car parts to airplane components.

When asked for comment, the company referred to the aluminum association, which said, "we are deeply concerned about the effects of a global tariff on aluminum production and jobs in the United States."

Maryville College economics professor Reeves Johnson said if the tariffs are imposed every industry could be impacted.

"Not only will most consumers and business be hurt by a tariff, but the suppliers in the long run will be affected by it," Johnson said. "Higher prices for aluminum and for steel means higher prices for automobiles, any sort of canned good, soup."

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