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New steel tariffs will hurt construction firms, says construction industry group

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA)  says it is concerned about President Trump’s proposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum products.

In response to Trump’s new tariffs, AGCA chief executive officer  Stephen Sandherr said that this move will have a big impact on construction projects and jobs.

“These new tariffs will cause significant harm to the nation’s construction industry, put tens of thousands of high-paying construction jobs at risk, undermine the President’s proposed infrastructure initiative and potentially dampen demand for new construction projects for years to come. That is because the newly-imposed tariffs will lead to increases in what construction firms are forced to pay for the many steel and aluminum products that go into a typical construction project,” Sandherr said in a statement.

He added that:

“Firms that are already engaged in fixed-price contracts may be forced to absorb these costs, forcing them to cut back on new investments in equipment and personnel. Higher steel and aluminum prices will make the kind of infrastructure work President Trump supports more expensive, forcing federal, state and local officials to cut back on projects they can fund. And the likely trade war these new tariffs prompt will diminish demand for private investment in infrastructure as well as construction demand for manufacturing, shipping and distribution facilities.”

Further, Sandherr believes that construction workers are going to lose their jobs because of these new tariffs.

“Considering the damages these new tariffs will inflict on the construction industry, it is easy to understand why recent, independent studies estimate that nearly 30,000 construction workers will lose their jobs because of these new tariffs.”

Talking about a long-term solution for a stronger domestic steel and aluminum industry, Sandherr said:

“The bottom line is that any short-term gains for the domestic steel and aluminum industries will likely be offset by the lower demand that will come for their products as our economy suffers the impacts of these new tariffs and the trade war they encourage. A better way to cultivate a stronger domestic steel and aluminum industry is to increase federal funding for infrastructure projects that will boost demand for these and many other products.”

The AGCA says that it is making efforts to convince the Trump Administration and Congress to reconsider the new tariffs and instead enact the kind of new infrastructure proposal to rebuild the country’s steel and aluminum industries.

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