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AGC asks Biden for relief from soaring lumber prices

Dive Quick:

  • Following the unexpected, remarkable price spikes on an array of constructing elements in 2021, the Involved Normal Contractors of The us has appealed to President Joe Biden to just take motion to simplicity the skyrocketing price tag of lumber.
  • In a Feb. 18 letter, AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr requested Biden to urge domestic lumber producers to ramp up generation to handle developing shortages, as effectively as to make the crafting of a new softwood lumber arrangement with Canada a top rated priority of his administration.
  • “The severe runup in current months for the price tag of all categories of lumber has made a hardship for contractors that were being termed upon previously in the pandemic to make spaces vitally essential for care of individuals, social distancing of employees and the general public,” Sandherr wrote. “AGC believes the White House can enjoy a constructive position in mitigating this developing threat.”

Dive Insight:

More than the past year, softwood lumber costs have spiked 73%, according to the Producer Value Index. In 2017, former President Donald Trump applied tariffs of up to 24% on softwood lumber imports from Canada, a variable contractors say is still impacting lumber selling prices.

With its simply call to concentrate on a new deal with Canada, Sandherr’s letter seemed to be aimed at mitigating the impacts of individuals tariffs now, as Biden has put in significantly of his to start with thirty day period in office environment unraveling Trump’s legacy via government orders. 

“While lumber is at times deemed a product that is essential only in single-family house building and reworking, in truth lumber and other wooden products and solutions are made use of in every style of setting up construction,” Sandherr wrote. “The volatility of lumber price ranges and the impossibility of pinning down upcoming delivery dates is earning it incredibly complicated for contractors to deliver bid price ranges or completion times for impending assignments.”

But price tag improves for contractors haven’t just been minimal to lumber. Iron and steel scrap has surged 50.8% in the very last 12 months, which include a 25.8% leap from November to December, adopted by one more 20.6% jump from December to January, according to January’s PPI report.

Over-all, the PPI for cost inputs to new nonresidential design — what contractors shell out to get a occupation completed — jumped 2.5%, though the price contractors say they would demand for specific positions inched up just .2%.

That widening distribute of charges as opposed to bid charges by a variable of extra than 12 has alarmed business watchers.

“Left unchecked, these climbing products charges threaten to undermine the financial restoration by inflating the charge of infrastructure and economic advancement projects,” Sandherr explained in a information launch ahead of the letter. “Widespread damage is caused by protecting tariffs on goods that so several People need to have to boost their properties, modernize their infrastructure and revitalize their economic climate.”