By Phil Crone
Executive Officer
Dallas Builders Association

In the midst of a nationwide, 10-year low in affordability, the housing industry is bracing for additional tariffs. From tile to countertops, laminates, lighting, and furnishing, about 450 products commonly found in new homes and remodeling projects are seeing tariffs rise from 10 percent to 25 percent due to the escalating trade war between the United States and China.

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), homeowners and homebuilders nationwide will be paying an additional $2.5 billion. Existing tariffs on Chinese imports and Chinese retaliatory tariffs already reduce U.S. Gross Domestic Product by 0.15 of a point. These additional tariffs will lower GDP by another half a point. While painful, they should not, in and of themselves, induce a recession.

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Canadian_Lumber

Last week, the Trump Administration announced a new tariff of up to 24 percent on Canadian lumber. According to a report by CNN Money, Canadian lumber accounts for nearly a third of all lumber used in the United States, and the new duty could raise the price of homebuilding by six percent, on average.

“For builders, it’ll increase the cost of construction by about $3,000 on the average home, which unfortunately will be passed on to consumers,” said Jerry Howard, CEO of [the National Association of Home Builders].

Builders argue that higher prices will translate into a slowdown of construction activity that could cost 8,000 U.S. jobs and $500 million in lost wages.

How could a lumber tariff affect homebuilding in Dallas-Fort Worth? We reached out to John Scott of Scott Homebuilders for a clearer picture of how local trades and buyers could be impacted.

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