Responding to Trump Administration tariff increases on steel, more than 1,000 companies nationally have, as of mid-April, applied for waivers from that tariff, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
But other companies, particularly in the construction industry, are increasingly purchasing larger than usual quantities of steel in an effort to minimize or avoid altogether the negative consequences of tariff-induced steel price jumps.
That is one of the findings discussed at the Rocky Mountain Construction Summit in Broomfield, Colorado earlier this month.
The steel purchasing trend, said Rich Wobbekind, speaking at the meeting, is just one of the many responses to a tariff policy that posing a level of uncertainty in today’s construction industry.
Those tariff increases, predicted Wobbekind, associate dean for business at the University of Colorado at Boulder, will also negatively impact construction hiring, even in an industry that is desperate for new workers.
Other speakers at the summit recommended that contractors worried about the uncertainty created by the Trump Administration’s tariff policies should hold off entering into contracts as long as possible until those policies become more clear.
Short of delaying, said Jason Greeves, an associate general counsel for the M.A. Mortenson, a construction and real estate development company with offices in Denver, builders should push for exclusions in government contracts pertaining to prices and conditions.
By Garry Boulard
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