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Be Original Americas, the non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for design authenticity, is holding a series of panel discussions on the topic of tariffs and their impact on the design industry in Mexico City and San Francisco this month.

In March, the Trump administration announced proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum causing material prices to rise and supply to shrink. The United States is the world’s largest importer of steel with top sources being Canada, Brazil and Mexico. According to a report by the United States Department of Commerce, in year-to-date 2018 (through June), the U.S. imported 16.2 million metric tons of steel.

Steel and aluminum are used in the construction of a number of building components, furniture and products. The tariffs have generated an increase in production overhead by increasing the costs of materials needed for production and creating a shortage of said materials thus affecting architects, designers and manufacturers across the design industry.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) released a statement regarding the negative impacts. “The Administration’s announcement of new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports threatens to drastically increase the prices of many building materials specified by architects. These metal products are some of the largest material inputs in the construction of buildings. Any move that increases building costs will jeopardize domestic design.”

To explore the topic of tariffs further with industry experts, join Be Original Americas for the following panel discussions:

WHAT:                 “Design in the Time of Tariffs”

WHEN:                 Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, 1:15-2 p.m.

WHERE:               Design Week Mexico, Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico City

RSVP required to [email protected]

WHO:                   Diana Budds, senior story producer, Curbed; Antonio Caliz, principal, Gensler; John Christakos, founder/CEO, Blu Dot

Design is a form of creative expression, a commodity, an investment and source of livelihood. In today’s political climate, it’s also an economic bargaining chip. World leaders are proposing billions of dollars of tariffs for raw materials and finished products and reevaluating trade treaties that impact the global design industry. As policymakers weigh the future of tariffs, uncertainties will endure—and the design market will respond to them, for better or worse.

Join Diana Budds, senior story producer, Curbed, along with Blu Dot founder/CEO, John Christakos and Gensler’s Principal of Latin America, Antonio Caliz, both members of the Be Original Americas design advocacy group, to discuss how creatives in the design and architecture industry are evaluating their creative work and their professional practice in the time of tariffs.

WHAT:                 “Design’s Future in the Era of Trump”

WHEN:                 Thursday, Oct. 16, 2018, 6-8 p.m.

WHERE:               fuseproject, 1401 16th Street, San Francisco

RSVP required to [email protected]

WHO:                   Suzanne LeBarre, design editor, Fast Company; Yves Béhar, CEO/founder, fuseproject; Collin Burry, design director/principal, Gensler; Primo Orpilla, principal, Studio O+A; Laura Guido-Clark, creative director/founder, LGC Design; Ted Boerner, founder, Ted Boerner Furniture Design; Derek Chen, founder, Council Design

Join Suzanne LaBarre, Fast Company’s Design Editor, and the panel regarding on how the new trade tariffs and sanctions are affecting multiple design industries. Hear from experts in manufacturing, industrial design and architecture as they discuss their experiences and share thoughts on the future of design in the era of President Trump’s trade wars.