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U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, held a press conference at Crown Beverage Packaging, contending that tariffs that are increasing the cost of raw materials for the La Crosse manufacturing business.

Consumers may be paying the price of aluminum tariffs in the near future, Rep. Ron Kind said Tuesday after a tour of Crown Beverage Packaging in La Crosse.

Kind, D-La Crosse, met with employees and officials of the aluminum can plant during the first stop of his Grown in Wisconsin tour, during which he plans to visit with local businesses, manufacturers and students regarding the repercussions of recent tariffs on the rural economy. Tariffs could have a $38 billion impact on the region, Kind said.

President Trump signed tariffs in March on aluminum and steel from China first and then Canada, Mexico and the European Union. Tariffs of 10 percent on aluminum and 25 percent on steel imports have caused those countries to introduce tariffs on U.S. imports in retaliation. According to the Commerce Department, in 2017 more than 60 percent of the aluminum supply in the U.S. was imported, the majority from Canada, as was approximately 33 percent of the steel.

Kind concedes there is “no question China has been cheating,” and that the country’s overcapacity of steel was of concern, but disagreed with the actions of the administration, suggesting this would have been an opportunity to create an international coalition.

“Tariff wars don’t work for anyone,” Kind said.

Crown Beverage Packaging, which has served La Crosse for 52 years and employs 120, manufactures more than six million aluminum soda and beer cans daily, and while the company is currently “holding their own,” according to Kind, the inflation of raw product costs may result in a 10 percent to 12 percent increase in cost to the consumer. Losing business to the plastics industry is also of concern.

“Crown could find themselves in a less competitive position,” Kind said.

Crown representatives said Tuesday they would not be offering comment.

Kind also toured City Brewery, which employs up to 500 locals, in early July, stating the tariff could lead to annual cost increases of hundreds of millions. The dairy and cranberry industries, as well as Harley-Davidson, may also suffer.

“Wisconsin businesses and manufacturers rely on open markets to sell and buy materials and products. It is important we work together to help them succeed by protecting their access to these markets,” Kind said.

Osseo Republican Steve Toft, who is running against Kind in the November election to represent Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District, said he agrees with the members of Congress of both parties who say that President Donald Trump’s protectionist trade policies are causing pain, especially in the state’s agriculture industry.

“Tariffs are not a good idea,” Toft said Tuesday during a phone call with the La Crosse Tribune editorial board. “We need the free market to provide a level playing field.”

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Emily Pyrek can be reached at


General assignment reporter

Emily Pyrek covers human interest stories, local events and anything involving dogs for the La Crosse Tribune. She is always interested in story ideas and can be contacted at

(12) comments


Fake issue
Fake politician
Fake news


You should stick to fantasy books.


You must be talking about President Obama


Trump loves his Putin.


I will never stand with anyone who stand with our enemies.


What is the definition of insanity....doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. VOTE DEMOCRAT if that is you. President Trump is doing something different, let’s see what happens. The EU is walking back and willing to work with the worlds best economy and market so he must be somewhat right.

Ron Kind has not been good for WI or the American people. He has no bill that you can name that has helped. Ron was a friend of my Grandfather and he didn’t even vote for him. Ron didn’t even step up when he knew the garbage that was going on at the Tomah VA because he would have to take a stand. Ron has been sucking off the taxpayer his whole working career. He was never in the private sector. His big accomplishment was graduating from an IVY league school. I don’t know if that even means anything anymore with the college systems we have now. I went to college here in La Crosse and it is scary that you are pushed into the professors view and yours is silent if it isn’t the same as the professor.

The only reason people like Ron in La Crosse is because he is from here. They see him at the YMCA once in a while. Big deal. Vote change in November. Vote Ron out. When you see him in the Octoberfest parade chant RON MUST GO!! He can take his retirement and ride off into the sunset. Ron is not a bad person but he is not willing to jeapordize his easy cart by helping us the tax payer.

Please let us know who is losing there jobs because I can’t drive more than a block without seeing a help wanted sign, either low paying job or a job that can provide for a family. I work with business owners on a regular basis and they can’t find help. So I don’t believe your claim that people are loosing there jobs because of the tariffs. You must being getting that info from the tv not from business owners.


Jean-Claude Juncker isn't the head of a country, only the EU, the handshake deal was just a photo op for Trump to look like he's doing something. Soybeans are up in Europe only because China isn't a market anymore with tariffs and they were already on the rise in Europe. Do you have anything to say about the billions in welfare farmers are receiving because of Trumps poor trade stance? If trade is going well you shouldn't have to spend billions in lost profits.

Grand Dad's Bluff

These tariffs are a tax on the American people that takes back a big chunk of the 2018 Tax Bill. Since most of the bill’s tax benefit went to the top 1%, the tariff leaves many Americans with an effective net tax increase.

People are already losing their jobs over these tariffs. Some Americans think that Trump has a winning strategy that will payout if we just give it time. Ladies and gentlemen, this is no different than Trump University. Vote for America - vote democratic in 2018!

Rick Czeczok

Ron has been a Pelosi puppet for 10 years voting the same way she did over 98% of the time. He is not only full of swamp water but is the problem with Washington. Please vote him out, and get someone who can help this side of the state, and represent us without looking at the very rich San Francisco queen, with her $25,000 pearls, and $700 shoes. You know the one that says she is just like the average American.

Buena Vista

Ron Kind is good for western Wisconsin and I will continue to vote for him everytime his name is on the ballot.


Guess that is why he voted against Pelosi for Speaker last time. He was just following her orders in a fiendish plot.


I doubt he wears pearls but how much do you think Queen Don Trumps shoes cost? He's been a Russian mafia puppet since the 1980's.

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