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Steel, Aluminum Tariffs will Negatively Impact U.S. Design and Construction Industries

Tariffs would have far-reaching implications on building materials, construction costs, and economic growth.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) President Carl Elefante, FAIA, and EVP/Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA, released the following statement today in response to the Administration’s plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

“The Administration’s announcement of new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports threatens to drastically increase the prices of many building materials specified by architects. These metal products are some of the largest material inputs in the construction of buildings. Structural metal beams, window frames, mechanical systems, and exterior cladding are largely derived from these important metals.

“As creative problem solvers, architects rely on a variety of these materials to achieve functional and performance goals for their clients. Inflating the cost of materials will limit the range of options they can use while adhering to budgetary constraints for a building.

“By the same token, the Administration’s proposed infrastructure funding will not achieve the same value if critical materials become more expensive. Furthermore, the potential for a trade war risks other building materials and products. Any move that increases building costs will jeopardize domestic design and the construction industry, which is responsible for billions in U.S. Gross Domestic Product, economic growth, and job creation.”