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Industry & Trends

Window Makers to Feds: Fix Trade Rules to Ease Shortages

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February 24, 2022 | Bill Esler

Washington, DC—The Window & Door Manufacturers Association WDMA) called on the federal government “to immediately enter negotiations to enact a new Softwood Lumber Agreement between the United States and Canada that it believes reasonably ensures a supplemental supply of lumber is accessible to domestic consumers.”

The statement, included in its just-released 2022 WDMA National Policy Agenda, reflects concern about growing window shortages that is hampering home builders. Sixty-one percent of home builders cited long lead times on windows as a critical concern.

“As we enter a third year of the pandemic, and in the face of a persistent shortage of adequate available labor coupled with unresolved challenges in the supply chain, it is crucial for Congress and the Biden Administration to collaboratively advance legislation and policies that will support robust growth for 2022,” says WDMA Chair Steve Tourek, who is also senior VP & general counsel for the Marvin Companies, a 7,000-employee window manufacturer. “This National Policy Agenda outlines policies that promote energy efficiency and workforce development, promote sound fiscal policies, and ensure a strong supply chain so manufacturers, their channel partners and consumers are successful.”

The 2022 WDMA National Policy Agenda details at some length trade policies that inhibit its members’ businesses, noting “members rely on continued access to raw materials from domestic and imported sources necessary for manufacturing windows, doors, skylights, and architectural door products.” Trade policies, says WDMA, should allow for the legal importation of wood and significantly contribute to reducing illegal logging.

Calling for policy to “balance environmental stewardship of natural resources with the need to maintain stable and predictable access to raw materials,” WDMA says it “supports legislation clarifying the regulatory guidelines and enforcement rules of the Lacey Act, bringing the declaration requirement in line with its intended purpose of prohibiting the trade of products made with illegally harvested wood while reducing excessive and unnecessary costs to the regulated community.”

In a section devoted to trade policy, WDMA says, “Domestic trade policy must allow manufacturers to access global markets,” and asks for “the elimination of border barriers that hinder market access, including tariffs and non-tariff barriers.”

WDMA asks for trade measures that facilitate commercial relationships with Canada and Mexico, the result of strong ties and cooperation. Read the full WDMA 2022 National Policy Agenda here.

Board members of WDMA include Emily Videtto, Pella Corp.; Jeff DeLona, Kolbe Windows & Doors; Bob Lewis, Masonite; Dave Pinder, Cardinal Glass; Fenton Challgren, Therma-Tru Doors; Earl Dodson, Cornerstone Building Products; Greg Jansen, Stiles Machinery; Shawn Laskoski, Jeld-Wen; Dick Moreno, Lynden Door; Mark Rieser, Windsor Windows & Doors; Steve Sisson, VT Industries; Andrea Nordaune, Andersen Corp.; Richard Wines, Southland Windows; and Michelle Nissen, AmesburyTruth.

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