Trump’s tariffs boost rebuilding costs for wildfire victims

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Tariffs California Wildfires_1533998698095

FILE – In this April 6, 2018, file photo, a U.S. Flag is placed on a wildfire-ravaged property as rain comes down in the the Coffey Park area in Santa Rosa, Calif. President Donald Trump’s tariffs on imported construction materials are making it more expensive to rebuild homes lost to wildfires and other natural disasters. […]

The import tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump are boosting the cost of building a home by thousands of dollars, and that’s adding to the challenges of people trying to rebuild from California’s wildfire and other disasters.

The CEO of the California Building Industry Association said tariffs on imported lumber and other construction materials could increase the cost of building a typical home by $20,000.

Other factors also are at work, such as a shortage of construction workers. But the tariffs are entirely the result of a government policy change.

Trump has been imposing tariffs on a range of goods from countries that he says were not treating the U.S. fairly.

Rising construction prices hit hardest on people who are seeking to rebuild but whose homeowners insurance policies have caps that are too low to cover the entire cost.

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