Be Original Americas Holds a Series of Talks on the Impacts of Tariffs

The Organization and Industry Experts Explore this Topic in Mexico City and San Francisco

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 October.

In March 2018, 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. ‚ÄúThe Administration‚Äôs 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*.‚ÄĚ

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

WHAT: ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ‚ÄúDesign in the Time of Tariffs‚ÄĚ

WHEN:                 Friday, October 12, 2018, 1:15-2:00 p.m.

WHERE:               Design Week Mexico

Museo Nacional de Antropología
Mexico City

RSVP required to

WHO:                   Diana Budds, Senior Story Producer, Curbed

                             Antonio Caliz, Principal, Gensler

                             John Christakos, Founder and 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‚ÄĒand the design market will respond to them, for better or worse.

Join Diana Budds, Senior Story Producer,¬†Curbed, along with Blu Dot founder and 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: ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ‚ÄúDesign‚Äôs Future in the Era of Trump‚ÄĚ

WHEN:                 Thursday, October 16, 2018, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

WHERE:               fuseproject
1401 16th Street
San Francisco

RSVP required to

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‚Äôs Design Editor, and the stellar 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 Trump’s trade wars.

* United States Department of Commerce. (2018, September). Global Steel Trade Monitor. Steel Imports Report: United States.

* The American Institute of Architects. (2018, March 6). Steel, aluminum tariffs will negatively impact U.S. design and construction industries.


Be Original Americas is a nonprofit organization that is committed to initiating discussion on the importance and value of preserving original design across the Americas, through informational, educational and influential marketing initiatives and other¬†efforts to promote¬†this critical issue.¬†Be Original Americas charter¬†members ‚Äď including Alessi, Bernhardt Design, Design Within Reach, Emeco, Flos, Fritz Hansen, Herman Miller¬ģ, Kartell, Ligne Roset, Poltrona Frau Group and Vitra, and new board members, Gensler and Rich Brilliant Willing ‚Äď believe that the value of authenticity cannot be underestimated or taken for granted in the marketplace. Through an aggressive program of panel discussions and CEU courses, the movement campaigns¬†to establish a set of industry standards that encourages public and professionals, along with our media partners, to fully support creativity and authenticity, to invest in the future of design, to incentivize innovation, and to give back to the industry and the people it serves.

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