Trump’s Trade War Is Making It Harder For Hurricane Florence Survivors To Rebuild

It’s one thing for the president of the United States to lack empathy and compassion for hurricane victims, as Donald Trump once again demonstrated when visiting the destruction left behind by Florence.

But this administration’s substantive policy agenda is even worse for those recovering on the Atlantic coast, according to new reporting.

The New York Times reports that because of Trump‘s petty trade war, victims of the storm on the Atlantic coast will have to pay up to 30 percent more in construction costs to rebuild their homes and businesses.

More from The Times:

Homebuilders and contractors say the administration’s trade policy will add to the price increases that usually follow natural disasters. In addition to materials like lumber, steel and aluminum, the United States will impose tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports next week, including countertops, furniture and gypsum, a key ingredient in drywall. All told, some builders estimate that construction costs could be 20 to 30 percent higher than they would have been without these tariffs.

“We’re all going to pay the price for it in terms of higher construction costs,” said Alan Banks, president of the North Carolina Home Builders Association.

Perhaps the biggest impact will come from wood prices, which are up 40 percent from a year ago. The Trump administration imposed a 20 percent tariff on Canadian softwood lumber late last year, and supply shortages have also driven up prices.

Trump has been terrible for hurricane relief

Donald Trump treats the aftermath of hurricanes like some reality show spectacle. He likes putting on his president-visiting-disaster-area costume and squeezing in a quick photo-op, but when it comes time to actually do something, he’s missing in action.

Whether it’s bungling the response to Hurricane Maria, leading to thousands of American deaths, or recklessly pushing for tariffs that will hurt survivors of Hurricane Florence, Trump has been his own natural disaster for those affected by deadly storms.

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