The Trump administration’s new $200 billion in tariffs are starting to flow through the home improvement sector. Products that could be affected include nails, flooring, granite countertops, tiles, sinks, roofing, cement, paints, cabinets, wooden and steel doors, windows, lighting and appliances. The National Association of Home Builders recently released a list of 6,000 items on the list of goods imported from China that are now subject to tariffs. The list includes 463 “ubiquitous” parts and pieces of the renovation puzzle that account for $10 billion in construction and remodeling expenditures a year nationwide.
The Chinese and Canadian tariffs are not the only ones worrying builders and remodelers. The administration has also imposed 25 percent tariffs on steel imported from many countries and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum. According to a study by Freedonia Group, a market research firm, these tariffs are affecting prices on “most indoor and outdoor kitchen appliances” to varying degrees based on how much steel or aluminum they use. They include stoves and ranges, ovens, refrigerators, freezers and gas grills, among others.
Together, according to Freedonia, they “have the potential to upend a product market that accounted for more than $18 billion in sales in the U.S. in 2016.” Sales could “slump as consumers decide a new fridge or stove isn’t worth the price.”The sobering bottom line: The tariff war is on. Building and remodeling are being affected, and the costs to consumers could go even higher soon.