New research reveals that aluminum tariffs continue to drive up costs for American businesses and American families. In the nearly six years since Section 232 tariffs on aluminum were imposed, the American beverage industry has paid more than $2.175 billion in fees. The research conducted by HARBOR Aluminum on behalf of the Beer Institute found that the U.S. beverage industry paid $2.175 billion in Section 232 tariffs on 10.295 million metric tons of aluminum since their implementation. Of that amount, only $135 million (6 percent) went to the U.S. Treasury. HARBOR Aluminum estimates U.S. rolling mills, U.S. smelters and Canadian smelters received $2.04 billion (94 percent) of the total by charging end-users – such as U.S. brewers – a tariff-burdened price regardless of whether the metal was meant to be tariffed based on its content or origin. Imported primary aluminum and cansheet are critical to the U.S. beer industry as more than 74 percent of all beer produced in the United States is packaged in aluminum cans and bottles. In 2020, brewers bought more than 41 billion aluminum cans and bottles, making aluminum the single most significant input cost in American beer manufacturing.

A lot of that shopping is happening online. And with online shopping often comes the expectation of free returns if the item you ordered isn’t quite right. But there’s now a decent chance that if you want to return an item, the place you bought it from might just say, “keep it.” As Reuters first reported this week, “return-less refunds” or “keep it” return policies have now been adopted by 59 percent of major retailers. That data’s from a survey by the return logistics company goTRG. These policies make economic sense for retailers, but they might not want to tell you about them. The reason behind this shift in thinking is the burdensome and costly nature of processing returns. First, it is expensive to pay for returns shipping. On top of that, unpacking and reviewing the item to see if it can be resold, and then if it can be resold, going in and restocking it on their shelf takes time and money. For now, some retailers are better off just letting you keep the item.

In other Biden administration news, a final ruling was issued aimed at reducing methane emissions, targeting the U.S. oil and natural gas industry for its role in global warming as President Joe Biden seeks to advance his climate legacy. The Environmental Protection Agency said the rule will sharply reduce methane and other harmful air pollutants generated by the oil and gas industry, promote use of cutting-edge methane detection technologies and deliver significant public health benefits in the form of reduced hospital visits, lost school days and even deaths. Air pollution from oil and gas operations can cause cancer, harm the nervous and respiratory systems and contribute to birth defects.

That’s all for this week. Enjoy the weekend and the song of the week, Wild Horses by the Rolling Stones.

The post This Week in Logistics News (December 2 – 8) appeared first on Logistics Viewpoints.