The Trump administration’s new tariffs will add to the cost of rebuilding after natural disasters like Hurricane Florence, homebuilders and contractors say.
The officials told The New York Times that the new tariffs on Chinese goods like countertops and furniture will make construction costs about 20 to 30 percent more expensive than they would have been without the trade duties.
Wood prices are also up by 40 percent from last year, adding to rebuilding costs. The Times noted that the Trump administration slapped a 20 percent tariff on softwood lumber from Canada last year, and that prices have risen over supply issues.
And the 25 percent tariff on steel imports implemented earlier this year is also driving up costs, according to the newspaper.
“We’re all going to pay the price for it in terms of higher construction costs,” Alan Banks, president of the North Carolina Home Builders Association, told The Times.
The newspaper noted that insurers will only cover a small portion of rebuilding costs from Hurricane Florence, which recently struck the East Coast. Flood damage generally isn’t covered in homeowner’s insurance, and only 335,000 homes in the Carolinas are covered by the National Flood Insurance Program.
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