New steel tariffs continuing to impact local businesses

(Source: KLTV News Staff)
(Source: KLTV News Staff)
(Source: KLTV News Staff)
(Source: KLTV News Staff)

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - President Donald Trump's new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports have already began to affect business in East Texas.

Brad Curtis, the President of Tyler Building Systems, says as soon as conversations about placing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports began in Washington, prices for steel began to increase across the board.

"The full price of our raw material increases have been passed along in our price to our customer," says Curtis.

The 25 percent tariff applies to imported steel, excluding Canada and Mexico, but Curtis says the new taxes have impacted more than just imported material. Their primary steel supplier is out of Jewett, Texas is charging more now, too.

"Any business sets their price based off their nearest competitor," says Curtis. "Domestic mills, their competitors are foreign mills, so if foreign steel prices increase, their price increases too."

Tom Mullins, President of the Tyler Economic Development Council, says this may hurt the entire steel industry and may push consumers toward alternative products.

"What would make a difference to us long term is how our product prices compare to concrete or wood or other types of competing materials for construction," says Curtis. "Whether it's a good thing or a bad thing, I don't know, I'll let somebody else decide that"

Along with the tariff on steel there has also been a 10 percent increase on aluminum imports.

Copyright 2018 KLTV. All rights reserved.