In this photo made Wednesday, June 27, 2018, the Merchants Bridge crosses the Mississippi River in St. Louis. The 127-year-old railroad bridge is in danger of being shut down if it is not replaced soon, but officials are struggling with how to pay for a planned repair and the 12,500 tons of steel the project would require after tariffs were recently enacted. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Trump's own tariffs make it harder to rebuild infrastructure

June 30, 2018 - 10:04 am

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — President Donald Trump wants to rebuild the nation's transportation infrastructure and to strengthen the U.S. steel industry through tariffs on imports.

But the second goal could make it more costly to accomplish the first. That's because the president's own tariffs on imported steel have created uncertainty for big transportation projects.

Steel is essential to building bridges, roads and rails. The tariffs make foreign steel more expensive and allow American steel producers to raise prices without being undercut by international competitors.

Some contractors and state officials are now concerned that rising steel prices could reduce or delay infrastructure proposals that are still in the planning stages. A ripple effect could also drive up costs for companies that make road-building equipment.