Politics and Policy
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On May 31, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service released additional guidance and proposed rules on the Inflation Reduction Act’s advanced energy project and Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program tax credits.
Last week, ABC joined a coalition of national, state and local trade associations in a letter to President Joe Biden, urging the administration’s active engagement with both the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association to help them reach a final contract, bring negotiations to a close and end the uncertainty surrounding operations of the West Coast ports.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine will have three first-order impacts on the U.S. construction industry. The first relates to materials prices, which are already sky-high and have induced some project owners to delay project start dates.
The Protecting the Right to Organize Act would produce significant economic costs for the nation’s 27 right-to-work states in an effort to increase union power at the expense of worker freedom and small businesses, according to a report issued by the American Action Forum on Aug. 13.
The elevated price of softwood lumber, a major talking point during much of the pandemic, appears to have peaked in early May at more than $1,700 per thousand board feet. As of June 23, the price has fallen below $900 per board feet, down about 49% in less than two months.
On June 10, the Biden-Harris administration announced key findings from the reviews directed under Executive Order 14017 “America’s Supply Chains,” as well as immediate actions the administration will take to strengthen American supply chains to promote economic security, national security and “good-paying, union jobs here at home.”
Because coronavirus vaccine distribution is accelerating, the expectation is that worldwide demand for steel, aluminum, oil and other productive inputs will surge later in 2021. The result could be substantial upward pressure on construction input prices.
All ABC contractor members received the monthly Construction Backlog Indicator/Construction Confidence Survey in their inboxes on Tuesday, April 20. Please encourage your members to respond to this monthly survey to help us understand the market forces that are shaping the construction outlook for the coming months.
ABC reported that its Construction Backlog Indicator declined to 7.2 months in November, a decrease of 0.5 months from October’s reading, according to an ABC member survey conducted from Nov. 20 to Dec. 2. Backlog is 1.7 months lower than in November 2019.