How Looming Steel And Aluminum Tariffs Are Affecting The Fenestration Industry

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Earlier this year the Trump Administration announced it would be placing a 25% tariff on all steel imports, a 10% tariff on all aluminum imports, and a sanction was placed on Russia’s Rusal, the world’s second-largest aluminum producer. Although the Trump Administration decided to hold off on imposing most of its proposed tariffs until after June 1, the looming increase has largely affected the fenestration industry.

Tariffs cause companies to freeze up as we need a sense predictability to build and expand our businesses, which includes pricing and sales decisions.

The looming tariffs and sanctions have manufacturers gearing up to increase their product prices, with some having done so already, while others have issued pending surcharges.

The affects are more prominent in smaller manufacturers who are left with no choice but to lock dealers into a 30 day price guarantees.

Within the last three months, manufacturers claim to have seen global aluminum prices rise by more than 30%.

We spoke with our friend Steve Chen, CEO of Crystal Windows, who told us he had seen “aluminum prices spike to a six-year increase within days, rather than the traditional penny increases/decreases we are used to seeing on a monthly basis.”

Chen confirmed to AW that these increases have been unprecedented and Crystal Windows and Doors and as a result they announced last month that an aluminum surcharge would be implemented in the coming weeks as they simply cannot absorb double-digit increases on raw materials.

The uncertainty of these surcharges and the current 30 day price guarantees have elevated the level of risk the window and door suppliers/installers face when bidding on projects.

Ross Adler, President of Adler Windows, stated “Adler Windows will remain dedicated to professionally advising our clients on the best product options to suit their design requirements and budgets.”  By representing more than 30 of the industry’s leading manufacturers, we are confident that Adler Windows will continually be able to meet our client’s needs and provide the highest level of installation quality that will reflect, if not exceed, product price increases.

On June 1 the Trump Administration will announce its final decision on steel and aluminum tariffs. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Adler Windows by calling 212.695.9768 or emailing