POLITICS
07/30/2018 02:25 am ET Updated Jul 30, 2018

Coca-Cola Raises Prices On Trump's Favorite Drink Over Tariffs

Trade wars go better with more expensive Coke.

Coca-Cola has hiked prices on its carbonated drinks because President Donald Trump’s 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum has made cans for Coke and other sodas more expensive to make.

The price boost for Coke ― a drink Trump loudly ordered during a secretly recorded conversation with his former personal attorney Michael Cohen ― was “disruptive” but necessary given the extra cost of the tariffs, Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey said. Specific increases will depend on individual stores, a company spokesman told CNN Money

This increase is just one of a number of price hikes on goods ― including boats, motorcycles, campers, furniture and beer ― bringing the high cost of the tariffs home to American consumers.

“We’ve had to go to the market a bit more frequently and a bit more aggressively with some price increases as of late,” Michael Happe, CEO of recreational-vehicle manufacturer Winnebago Industries, told The Wall Street Journal.

Although Happe wouldn’t provide specifics on Winnebago price hikes, he said the company remains concerned about the tariffs, a murky future in trade tensions and increasing inflation.

“Uncertainty is never a great thing for the economy and the more noise there is there’s a risk that consumers will press pause,” he said.

According to the Labor Department, consumer prices rose 2.9 percent in June from a year earlier, the highest rate in more than six years. Producer prices have also climbed to the highest level in years.

In a CNBC interview last March, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross held up a Coke, a Budweiser and a can of Campbell’s soup in a bid to make the point that tariffs are “nothing” and that consumers wouldn’t notice. He predicted the price of a can of soup would increase about “six-tenths of a cent,” adding: “Who in the world is going to be too bothered by six-tenths of a cent?”

The Beer Institute, a trade group representing beer producers, estimated that the aluminum tariff would cost brewers $348 million and could lead to the loss of more than 20,000 jobs in the industry.

On Sunday, Charles Koch, libertarian megadonor to Republicans, attacked Trump’s “protectionist” tariffs that he said destroy businesses and threaten another recession.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated the name of Coca-Cola CEO.

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