Equipment Type

Tariffs Could Cost Up to 28K Construction Jobs

According to a report released by The Trade Partnership, the construction industry could lose 28,313 jobs.

March 09, 2018

As promised, President Trump signed orders for steep new tariffs on steel and aluminum, exempting Canada and Mexico. The orders are effective in 15 days.

According to a report released by The Trade Partnership, the construction industry could lose 28,313 jobs.

The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, released the following statement in reaction to President Trump’s announcement that he will impose new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum products:

“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. 

“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.

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

“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."

 

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