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home : most recent : statewide implications August 20, 2018


8/8/2018 6:58:00 PM
As the U.S. imposed tariffs ramp up, they may have unintended consequences

Jeong Park, Journal and Courier Reporter

WEST LAFAYETTE - West Lafayette Fire Chief Tim Heath is in a race against time as his department looks to buy a fire truck.

"Price of aluminum and steel are changing every minute that companies can't guarantee prices," he said.

The cost of a fire truck has already increased by 7 percent, or about $70,000. It may increase even further as a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum continue. 

"There's a time crunch to get a contract signed," he said.

The Trump administration's tariffs seek to reduce the United States' trade deficits and improve the country's manufacturing industry. But as the tariffs ramp up, they are driving up prices for local governments and homebuilders who are using the affected materials in their projects. 

On Tariffs: More Lafayette businesses speak out against tariffs

On Tariffs: Here's how tariffs may affect counties in Greater Lafayette area

But steel prices are trending upward, with domestic steel prices at a more than seven-year high. Aluminum prices are going up.  And lumber prices hit a record high in May, although they have come down since. The Trump administration recently imposed a 20 percent tariff on Canadian lumber.

Some government agencies and homebuilders said they have not been affected as heavily.

Related Links:
• Journal & Courier full text

Related Stories:
• Number of new Indiana home permits fall as tariffs and labor costs increase
• Steel trade association trying to raise funds for lawsuit against tariffs
• OPINION: Small business owners know all about worsening effect of tariffs
• OPINION: The terrible truth of tariffs
• Here's how tariffs may affect counties in Greater Lafayette area

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