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Sonoco raising prices in response to tariffs

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Hartsville-based global packaging company Sonoco will raise prices 4% for all composite cans and corresponding metal ends in the United States and Canada in response to recent steel and aluminum tariffs.

The price increase will begin Aug. 1, the company said in a news release.

“Sonoco’s global sourcing power and commitment to supply security have allowed us to effectively mitigate historic inflationary pressures,” said Robin Gordon, division vice president of sales for Sonoco’s U.S. and Canada composite cans and metal ends. “However, the recent trade announcements assigning tariffs on the steel and aluminum supply, along with strong regional demand, have placed unprecedented stress on our suppliers’ feedstocks and corresponding input costs.

“While we will continue to monitor the domestic and global sourcing landscape to find ways to mitigate inflation, we do need to recover our current cost exposure. We will continue to work with our suppliers to ensure supply security and find ways to bring input costs down over the coming months.”

President Donald Trump announced worldwide tariffs of 25% on imported steel and 10% on imported aluminum in March. On May 31, those penalties also took effect against Canada, Mexico and the European Union — three of the U.S.'s biggest trading partners which had previoulsy been exempt. Each of the three signaled plans to retaliate, with Canada announcing tariffs at the same rate on the same goods and Mexico vowing equivalent measures.

Trump enacted the tariffs under Section 323 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which gives the president authority to restrict imports and impose tariffs if a Commerce Department investigation finds a national security threat.

The U.S. is the world’s largest steel importer, importing 7.9 million metric tons in 2017, according to Commerce Department figures. That represented around 9% of all steel imported globally.

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