BY ANNIE OURSO LANDRY / GREATER BATON ROUGE BUSINESS REPORT
The Trump administration’s newly imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum are expected to increase construction costs across the nation, including Louisiana, threatening the future on a number of industrial sector projects along the Gulf Coast.
“They’re talking about a 6% price increase on steel and aluminum,” says Ken Naquin, CEO of Louisiana Associated General Contractors. “Let’s say it goes up 6%, it’s not a deal killer on any one project, but at end of the day, they’ll have to up estimates on how much a project costs. The industrial sector will feel it the most.”
Louisiana economist Loren Scott contends construction prices could increase as much as 25%, equal to the amount of the new steel tariff. President Donald Trump on March 8 placed a 25% tariff on imported steel and 10% on aluminum in his effort to bolster U.S. manufacturing. Canada and Mexico are currently exempted from the tariffs as NAFTA negotiations continue.