Whether you agree or disagree with the 232 tariff it is here and it affects ImageFirst™ and our customers.
No one has ever worked under a tariff in this industry before so there are many unknowns. This tariff could go away as quickly as it came into being. A change of opinion in the executive branch could remove or change this executive order. This could make it hard for metal producing companies to fully invest in increasing production, infrastructure or changing business practices.
The 10% tariff on aluminum alloy has increased the cost of aluminum per pound for value-added companies. In July 2017, common alloy aluminum (this is what we use) was $1.70/lb. Today it is right around $2.60/lb. This means, everything aluminum (angle, plate, sheet, flat bar) is more than 35% the cost of what it was a year ago, which increases the price of commonly-used raw materials.
Dave Watts, of ImageFirst™ commented that
The good news, according to Pat Richards with Phoenix Metals, is
1. Quotes will only be valid for a maximum of 30 days, and sometimes shorter depending on raw material needs & circumstances.
2. There may be slight price increases because our cost of goods has increased significantly.