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Trump tariff impact could trickle to toilet paper

Owners of steel production facilities like Strand Metals Service in Forestbrook are paying attention after steel tariffs set by the Trump Administration forced them to raise prices by as much as 25 percent. (Taggart Houck/WPDE)

Tariffs imposed by the Trump Administration are likely to affect more than just metals in Horry County, and it includes products you may buy for your home.

"As far as volume of business, it hasn't had a detrimental effect, but as far as prices, it sure is having an effect," said Paul Flood, owner of Strand Metals Service in Forestbrook.

A 25 percent tax on steel and a 10 percent tax on aluminum in January hasn't exactly been music to Flood's ears.

"We've been here for 23 years and we've never seen a spike that happened as big as that," he said.

Since the Trump Administration implemented the tariff in January, he's had to increase prices by 20 percent.

While he generally deals with contractors, think of the effect as a trickle.

"The tariffs affect every one of us in our day-to-day lives. It's the pen, that I use: steel. Steel, aluminum, look around you. Everything that we have has steel and aluminum," said Colin Brown, manager of Hometown Sheds in Conway.

He said he has to charge about $300 more for some of the most standard options of sheds. It's always changing for buyers.

He's heard several customers talk about a change on quotes because of the price change.

The uncertainty, he said is the biggest concern. Especially what that could mean for everyday consumers.

"Toilet paper you buy, guess who delivers it? A truck made of steel and aluminum," said Brown.

But it's the unknown that has Flood and others paying attention.

"It's hard to accept jobs when you don't already know if you're going to break even on that project," he said.

The Trump administration maintains the tariff -- part of a larger series of tariffs, including agriculture -- is good for the growth of a domestic industry in the steel and aluminum market.

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