President Trump’s steel tariff could have far reaching effects

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Crane in Cherry Creek North

Crane in Cherry Creek North

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DENVER — The price of steel could be increasing, after President Donald Trump’s surprise announcement about adding a 25 percent tariff to steel imports Thursday night.

“We are going to build our steel industry back,” President Trump said, in a West Wing meeting with steel executives.

Currently, the United States imports up to one-third of its steel. That ends up being used in many different industries, including automotive and airplane manufacturing and construction.

“It’s a huge part of what we do for sure. It’s everywhere,” Steve Rogers, the president of 8020 Builders, told FOX31.

“The biggest issue we’re dealing with in the industry right now is the volatility in pricing,” Rogers said. “In fact, most specifically, the increase in pricing.”

Steel prices have been increasing since the recession. The World Steel Association predicted they’ll rise 4.9 percent this year — and that was before the president’s announcement.

“When the pricing is as volatile is it’s been – and not just in the steel industry, but in the entire market – it becomes very difficult,” Rogers said of the construction industry. “Somebody ends up, proverbially, holding the bag.”

Rogers and others in the construction industry said despite the building boom, budgets for projects are tight. There are high prices for steel, plus lumber, labor and more.

They do not believe the tariff would affect the buildings currently under construction in the Denver area. But, future projects, including apartments, condominiums, restaurants and offices, could be more expensive.

And that cost could eventually trickle down to the consumer.

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