Tariffs On Steel: Increased Construction Costs And Alternatives


The term ‘Trump Tariffs’ refers to the series of tariffs imposed on various goods during the presidency of Trump. In June 2018, the United States imposed a 10% tariff on aluminum and a 25% of tariff on imports of steel. The tariffs on aluminum and steel are likely to significantly increase steel prices making construction projects more expensive. The contractors will be absorbing the added cost making it difficult for them to maintain their profitability.

Raw steel is used for a number of construction applications including reinforcing steel bars in structural concrete and structural steel framing. Although the tariff will affect all steel products, the biggest impact will be on structural steel.

Raw material, fabrication, delivery, and erection on site are four components of the cost of structural steel. The steep rise in the price of steel will put pressure on construction pricing in the US. Rising costs of implementing traditional construction materials mean that contractors may find it difficult to increase their profits.

The new tariffs will lead to potentially dampen demand for new construction projects and significant harm to the country’s construction industry; It could put tens of thousands of high-paying construction jobs at risk. Rising prices of traditional materials means that contractors who have already signed fixed-price contracts but not bought steel products will have their profits entirely eliminated or reduced.

How the construction industry should respond

It is widely acknowledged that traditional construction materials like steel can’t be the materials of future because of their inability to meet emerging structural needs. In the past, the construction industry was reluctant to use innovative materials like GFRP rebar because of its relatively high initial cost. However; taking into account the skyrocketing prices of the steel; its inability to fight corrosion and high maintenance costs, the construction industry in the US and across North America must increasingly use advanced composite materials (FRPs) for building and rehabilitating concrete structures to not only fight the increasing prices of steel but also start building sustainable concrete infrastructure.

Alternative of steel rebar

When it comes to finding advantageous and cost-effective alternative to steel reinforcement, fiberglass rebar is the only option which offers high tensile strength, impeccable corrosion-resistance, ease of transportation and installation due to its inherent lightweight properties. It’s about time for the construction industry worldwide to start thinking about the long-term benefits of using modern and advantageous materials like GFRP fiberglass reinforcement for both new projects and rehabilitations applications.

Who we are

As a well-reputed manufacturer and distributor of GFRP rebar and accessories in Canada and across North America, TUF-BAR has been striving to produce construction materials that can meet the structural demands of the 21st Century and help the construction industry realize the need for sustainability. Contact us to learn more about our products and how they are better than traditional steel!