- April 1, 2018: Vol. 30, Number 4

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Steel tariffs could raise cost of real estate development

by Loretta Clodfelter

New tariffs on imported steel and aluminum could have a deleterious effect on the commercial real estate industry.

President Trump has announced tariffs of 25 percent for imported steel and 10 percent for imported aluminum, with exemptions for Canada, Mexico and possibly other nations. Such tariffs, intended to support domestic steel and aluminum industries, are likely to raise prices for the materials, which would negatively affect domestic industries that use those inputs, such as manufacturing and real estate development.

“For every job in the steel production industry, there are more than 50 jobs in the U.S. construction industry — 140,000 versus 7–10 million. New tariffs on construction materials like steel could have the unfortunate, unintended side effect of raising construction costs and reducing jobs in real estate development,” said Real Estate Roundtable president and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer, in a statement. “Exemptions will be important to mitigating t

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