‘There’s a lot of uncertainty’: SWFL could feel effects of tariffs

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Gates Construction founder Todd Gates said he’s noticed a big jump in prices on steel and aluminum.

“In a free market we crave certainty,” Gates said. “Right now there’s a lot of uncertainty in the market because of the tariffs.”

President Trump’s tariffs on these supplies and other goods the U.S. imports from other countries are bringing costs up.

Even though it hurts now, Gates said he thinks it’ll pay off in the end.

“It’s critically important that we’re competitive in the market place from a global perspective,” Gates said.

Gates added his stance on the current policies.

“We’ve been taken advantage of for way way too long, so I do agree with the policies … once the certainly comes back into the market, no matter what the increase is, we’ll get back to normal,” Gates said.

Shoppers like Doris Decker said she’s shelling out twice the amount for products —like lumber— to renovate her home.

“That does put a pinch on residential,” Decker said.

A store manager said he’s seeing an increase in prices that aren’t directly related to the tariffs.

Florida Gulf Coast University economist Victor Claar said increased prices are inevitable across the board.

“More expensive automobiles, more expensive construction, higher costs of doing business for American firms — and those American firms employ American workers,” Claar said.

Claar also said the impacts could be felt nationwide.

“Potentially every single American could be affected in higher prices for all kinds of services, and not just ones in construction, ones in all the industries that use steel and aluminum as key imports,” Claar said.

If you’re looking to buy a car, you may soon notice higher prices there as well.

Automaker General Motors is warning the tariffs could force it to scale down and cut jobs, which could lead to more expensive cars.

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