Indiana home builders say President Donald Trump’s “America first” policies aren’t helping them. Lumber costs have increased since the beginning of the last year, which makes building a new home more expensive.
Indiana Builder’s Association CEO Rick Wajda says one reason for that is protectionist trade policies – including import tariffs – imposed by the Trump administration.
“The softwood lumber is one area that is of concern, but the steel and aluminum tariffs are having an impact on price increases,” Wajda says.
In a press release this week, the IBA criticized what it called the administration’s “supply-side” cost increases – meaning the president has increased prices on business. That runs contrary to the principles Trump has advocated, such as giving tax breaks to businesses – allegedly so they can create jobs and their prosperity will “trickle down” to the working class.
In the 1980s, this was called “Reaganomics,” and led to a huge expansion of American debt.
Looking at possible solutions to bring the costs back down, Wajda says IBA is communicating and working with the National Builders Association to talk with the Trump administration to find a balanced solution.
“We’re asking them to resume talks to try to get to a reasonable solution that can work for all parties,” Wajda says.