Housing Takes a Hit on Higher China Tariffs

Filed in Housing Affordability, Material Costs by on May 8, 2019 17 Comments

This post was updated May 10

In a move that will harm housing affordability, the Trump administration has increased tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports — including $10 billion of goods used by the home building industry — from 10% to 25% effective at 12:01 a.m. May 10.

The president said he is taking this action in response to China retreating from commitments it made in earlier negotiations.

Even as the higher tariffs go into effect, a Chinese trade delegation remains in Washington seeking to resolve the trade dispute. Officials still have time to find a last-minute resolution because the higher tariffs apply to goods that leave China on or after May 10 – not shipments already in transit and approaching American ports.

Last year, Trump imposed a 10% tariff on these goods, which represents a $1 billion tax increase on residential construction. The tariff jump to 25% is equivalent to a $2.5 billion tax on housing.

NAHB is monitoring the situation closely and continues to urge the administration to resolve this trade dispute quickly in a way that won’t hurt American consumers or businesses.

For more information, contact David Logan at 800-368-5242 x8448 or Alex Strong at x8279.


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Comments (17)

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  1. Carroll Raley says:

    Over the last two years, I have watched the price of lumber go from a reasonable price to almost triple what it was. If there was anything that has caused the housing slow down, the profit taking from this commodity has caused it.

    Look at your own graph and see what happened. At the time of the increase I had contracts that I had to fulfill and got totally wiped out on my margins. Lord knows what happened to other builders, but stupid is as stupid does. This absolutely did not have to happen. Look at where pricing was in March and look at where it went by the middle of June. The Lumber suppliers should be ashamed of itself.

  2. Tom Summer says:

    What are the top 10 products in housing that are effected ?

  3. JOHN GREEN says:


    I am fully supportive with your comments…….the author in this article is spinning, just like so many commentators have done over the last few months. China is not at fault with the huge rise in material costs over the last 12-18 months. I build on Bainbridge Island, in WA, and my material costs in past 18 months have gone up about 60%. The sheer demand for building materials nationwide, as a result of the great economy, national disasters( flooding, fires and tornadoes) is where the pressure is climbing. In addition labor shortages of SKILLED contractors has also gone up. The industry is not attracting school graduates and those that are starting out have very little skills, or are racked with drug or alcohol issues. It is not China Sir, not indeed!

  4. Kris Fornuto says:

    Well…If we more Building materials were purchased from US manufacturers we wouldn’t have a tariff issue in this business. Everyone is joining this “race to the bottom” with inferior products from overseas and it hurts everyone in the channel. Lumberyards depend on framing prices as part of their bottom line as do US Producers.

  5. There has to be a compromise that is being missed by both the U.S. and Chinese governments! Get back to the table and resolve your issues!
    We of the construction industry are being affected!
    ONwards and UPwards with commonn sense!

  6. John says:

    There is another way to look at it.
    As we loose the cheeeeep Chinese products that we are receiving the demand for the products we loose will be replaced by products we produce here and that is good for us in the US . That is if domestic producers don’t try to over price themselves.

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