News & Politics

In the News Business, All Stories Now Lead to Trump

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Don’t get enough Trump-bashing in your daily political news feed? Miss him when he’s not in a sports story, an entertainment story, or a weather story? Have no fear: NBC News is here to assuage your longing:

Add this to the challenges facing California wildfire victims: Tariffs. The import tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump are adding thousands of dollars to the cost of building homes. That especially squeezes homeowners who seek to rebuild quickly after losing their houses to natural disasters, such as the wildfires scorching parts of California.

The Trump administration’s tariffs have raised the cost of imported lumber, drywall, nails and other key construction materials. One building association official said the tariffs could raise the price of a typical new home in California by up to $20,000, and it could be more for individual homes being custom-built on short order. That could be enough to keep some people with inadequate homeowners insurance from rebuilding or force them to consider a smaller house.

That darn Trump. Is there no limit to his malevolence?

Other factors also are making home construction more expensive, including a shortage of workers and increased demand that has pushed up the price of materials produced in the U.S. The difference with the tariff-related cost increase: It’s a direct result of a governmental policy change.

“This comes at a bad time if you’ve just had your neighborhood swept up in a firestorm,” said Jock O’Connell, an international trade adviser at Beacon Economics in California.

In a country of 340 million or so, how many have had their neighborhood swept up in a firestorm lately? But hey — Trump. Because, Trump.