Diadon Enterprises © 2018

Construction braces for Trump's new aluminum, steel tariffs | Chesapeake Virginia Dump Truck, Aggregate, Excavation Company

Columbus Ohio Dump Truck Company Brief:

  • President Donald Trump announced Thursday that the U.S. would begin imposing a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminum imports beginning next week, according to Reuters.
    The administration is sidestepping the World Trade Organization and instituting the tariffs based on what it has deemed an issue of national security.
  • U.S. steel and aluminum manufacturers' stock prices jumped following the news, but fears of higher prices and retaliatory action from U.S. trade partners forced shares lower for companies that rely on these products, notably car and airplane manufacturers.
  • There are no specifics about the tariffs' implementation or possible exemptions for certain trade partners, but the United Steelworkers union is advocating for an exemption for Canada, according to Engineering News-Record. Union representatives favor an exemption, representatives noted, because the country does not engage in illegal product dumping. Canada which fills 16% of steel demand in the U.S., said that, should the tariffs be implemented, the country would "take responsive measures to defend its trade interests and workers."

Dump Trucks Columbus OH Insight:

High-rises, large residential multifamily projects and infrastructure projects are major buyers of steel and aluminum. Construction companies are likely to begin bracing for a wave of cost increases and the possibility of having to decide whether certain developments are now too expensive to build.

In a March 1 spending report, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) said the higher prices resulting from the tariffs could stymie much-needed infrastructure investment and undercut the administration's efforts to get the president's $1.5 trillion infrastructure program underway.  

AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson said adding to the already-high prices for aluminum and steel could wreak havoc on both public and private project budgets. If a trade war erupts and U.S. trade partners take retaliatory measures by imposing tariffs on U.S. goods sold abroad, exporters', transportation companies' and ports' businesses would be negatively affected, he said in the release, and would reduce the need for construction in those areas.

Prior to the president's tariff announcement, Anirban Basu, chief economist for the Associated Builders and Contractors, told Engineering News-Record that columbus oh excavation company who buy a great deal of steel might want to lock in steel prices with futures contracts — but it could be too late to employ that strategy.