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AGC asks Biden for relief from soaring lumber prices

Dive Temporary:

  • Following the sudden, dramatic cost spikes on an array of creating components in 2021, the Involved Normal Contractors of America has appealed to President Joe Biden to choose action to ease the skyrocketing price of lumber.
  • In a Feb. 18 letter, AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr questioned Biden to urge domestic lumber producers to ramp up production to address increasing shortages, as very well as to make the crafting of a new softwood lumber agreement with Canada a best priority of his administration.
  • “The serious runup in latest months for the price of all classes of lumber has created a hardship for contractors that ended up identified as upon before in the pandemic to generate spaces vitally essential for care of clients, social distancing of staff and the general public,” Sandherr wrote. “AGC thinks the White House can participate in a constructive function in mitigating this increasing risk.”

Dive Insight:

Around the earlier yr, softwood lumber rates have spiked 73%, according to the Producer Price tag Index. In 2017, previous President Donald Trump applied tariffs of up to 24% on softwood lumber imports from Canada, a component contractors say is however impacting lumber rates.

With its get in touch with to concentration on a new offer with Canada, Sandherr’s letter appeared to be aimed at mitigating the impacts of individuals tariffs now, as Biden has put in a great deal of his first thirty day period in business unraveling Trump’s legacy through executive orders. 

“While lumber is often deemed a item that is vital only in one-family members home design and reworking, in actuality lumber and other wooden products are utilised in every single form of creating development,” Sandherr wrote. “The volatility of lumber charges and the impossibility of pinning down long run shipping dates is producing it very tough for contractors to offer bid price ranges or completion occasions for approaching assignments.”

But expense increases for contractors haven’t just been minimal to lumber. Iron and metal scrap has surged 50.8% in the last 12 months, such as a 25.8% bounce from November to December, adopted by one more 20.6% bounce from December to January, according to January’s PPI report.

All round, the PPI for expense inputs to new nonresidential building — what contractors shell out to get a work carried out — jumped 2.5%, when the cost contractors say they would cost for unique jobs inched up just .2%.

That widening unfold of expenses as opposed to bid rates by a factor of extra than 12 has alarmed field watchers.

“Left unchecked, these climbing supplies prices threaten to undermine the financial recovery by inflating the value of infrastructure and economic growth jobs,” Sandherr explained in a information release forward of the letter. “Widespread harm is triggered by maintaining tariffs on merchandise that so a lot of People in america require to improve their properties, modernize their infrastructure and revitalize their financial state.”