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Tariffs to Raise Cost of Rebuilding After Hurricane Florence - ABI

When the floodwaters from Hurricane Florence recede and rebuilding kicks into high gear, homeowners and businesses will face an additional burden as tariffs imposed by the Trump administration drive up the cost of construction materials, the New York Times reported. Homebuilders and contractors say that the administration’s trade policy will add to the price increases that usually follow natural disasters. In addition to materials like lumber, steel and aluminum, the United States will impose tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports this week, including countertops, furniture and gypsum, a key ingredient in drywall. All told, some builders estimate that construction costs could be 20 to 30 percent higher than they would have been without these tariffs. Perhaps the biggest impact will come from wood prices, which are up 40 percent from a year ago. The Trump administration imposed a 20 percent tariff on Canadian softwood lumber late last year, and supply shortages have also driven up prices.

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