• Tariffs and Out of Home

    The Trump Administration has implemented a 25% tariff on imported steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum.  Argentina, Brazil, Canada, the European Union and South Korea are exempt from the tariff.   Insider talked with some sign fabricators and digital billboard makers about the impact of the tariff.   Here’s what he found out.

    The Cost of Billboard Structures is Going Up

    Steel prices have been rising.  One fabricator said steel costs are up 5% since the tariff was announced.  Another fabricator said steel is up 20%.  Market conditions have been tight but the tariff hasn’t helped.  Although most fabricators  source steel from tariff-exempt countries (US, Mexico, Canada and India) Insider thinks the tariff may embolden US, Mexican and Canadian producers to raise prices.   Most fabricators are holding bids for only 48 hours – a sign that they expect prices to rise.

    Digital Billboards Unaffected – For Now

    Aluminum and steel account for about 10% of the cost of a digital billboard so the impact of the tariff on digital sign pricing is limited.  If a wider trade war breaks out and the Trump administration extends the tariff to LED’s the impact will be immense.  All the digital sign makers get their LED components from China and the LED components make up the biggest single cost of a digital sign.

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