Industry Groups Release Statements on Negative Effects of Steel, Aluminum Tariffs

April 2018

Randy Noel, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders and a custom home builder from LaPlace, La., issued the following statement March 1 regarding President Trump’s announcement to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports:
    
“It is unfortunate that President Trump has decided to impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports. These tariffs will translate into higher costs for consumers and U.S. businesses that use these products, including home builders.
    
“Given that home builders are already grappling with 20 percent tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber and that the price of lumber and other key building materials are near record highs, this announcement by the president could not have come at a worse time.
    
“Tariffs hurt consumers and harm housing affordability. We hope the administration will work quickly to resolve these trade disputes regarding lumber and steel so that businesses and consumers have access to an adequate supply at a fair market price.”
    
Then on March 6, the following statement was released by American Institute of Architects President Carl Elefante, FAIA, and EVP/Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA:
    
“The administration’s announcement of new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports threatens to drastically increase the prices of many building materials specified by architects. These metal products are some of the largest material inputs in the construction of buildings. Structural metal beams, window frames, mechanical systems, and exterior cladding are largely derived from these important metals.
    
“As creative problem solvers, architects rely on a variety of these materials to achieve functional and performance goals for their clients. Inflating the cost of materials will limit the range of options they can use while adhering to budgetary constraints for a building.
    
“By the same token, the administration’s proposed infrastructure funding will not achieve the same value if critical materials become more expensive. Furthermore, the potential for a trade war risks other building materials and products. Any move that increases building costs will jeopardize domestic design and the construction industry, which is responsible for billions in U.S. Gross Domestic Product, economic growth and job creation.”