Feedback requested: Tariff impact on building safety
On July 10, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) issued a list of products imported from China upon which it is considering imposing a 10 percent duty in response to China’s retaliation to the 25 percent U.S. tariffs on Chinese products that were effective on July 6 (see June 18 Building Safety Journal article for additional background on the tariffs). The new list of tariffs is expected to impact $200 billion in annual imports from China, and includes numerous products utilized in the building industry.
The USTR is soliciting comments from industry on the new list and has scheduled hearings from August 20–23, after which point a final list will be determined. The imposition of tariffs may affect the availability of the targeted products in the U.S. market. The International Code Council is seeking feedback from its members who have concerns that building safety would be compromised by increased cost or reduced availability of the products on the list, which include:
• Rocks/stone/mineral products — including marble, granite, sandstone, building stone, pebbles, gravel, limestone, gypsum, plasters, portland cement & aluminous cement, roofing slate, stone/cement/concrete building blocks & bricks and floor & wall tiels, cement prefabricated structural building components, cement tubes, and ceramic tiles.
• Plumbing products — including plastic/rubber/flexible metal tubing and piping, toilets/bidets, iron/steel/copper/nickel/aluminum/zinc/tin pipe and tube fittings, faucets (including taps, cocks & valves), cast iron sinks/tubs/basins, and parts of hand operated & check appliances for pipes, boiler shells, tanks & vats.
• Wood & wood products — including raw or processed hardwood, coniferous/non-coniferous wood, bamboo, cork, including plywood and veneer sheets & panels, siding/flooring, fiberboard, wooden formwork, shakes & shingles, and wooden doors & windows.
• Metals & metal products — including iron & steel doors, windows, wires/cables, structural aluminum plates/rods/profiles/tubes, and aluminum & steel screws, nuts, bolts, etc.
• Other building products — including paints/varnishes, floor/wall/ceiling coverings (including textile), glass & glass products, air conditioners & heat pumps, industrial humidifiers & dehumidifiers, and prefabricated buildings.
The full list of items, along with the USTR notice can be found online. The deadline to submit comments to USTR is July 27. Members should contact ICC Vice President of Global Services Judy Zakreski at email@example.com with comments, questions or concerns.