As construction materials remain at record high prices and face continued availability challenges, President Biden and Congress are taking actions to make things worse. Meanwhile, construction firms around the country are absorbing these costs—which would better be invested in recruiting and retaining construction workers—without significant relief in sight.
That’s why AGC needs you to tell President Biden and Congress to take actions to improve the construction supply chain, not make it worse.
President Biden is neither removing significant tariffs and quotas on steel and aluminum from America’s allies, nor is he entering lumber negotiations with such allies or domestic mills. Instead, the president has put forth a supply chain plan that would limit the ability of construction workers and firms to fill needed positions by pressing for government-mandated project labor agreements, local hire requirements, and registered apprenticeship goals for construction projects.
Similarly, Congress is advancing legislation that would further limit the availability of construction materials used on federal-aid transportation and direct federal construction projects. That legislation would expand domestic manufacturing requirements already applicable to steel and iron to “construction materials,” including but not limited to cement and asphalt (including any materials needed to make the products) and aggregates like stone and gravel.
If this legislation became law:
- Construction firms could see an additional cost of $6 to $10 per ton in transportation costs (one ton of aggregates currently costs about $10) or a 30 to 50 percent increase from sourcing aggregates from locations within the U.S., according to the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association.
- Costs to build and maintain U.S. highways would skyrocket, according to the National Asphalt Pavement Association.
- Natural aggregate is in short supply in the Coastal Plain and Mississippi embayment, Colorado Plateau and Wyoming Basin, glaciated Midwest, High Plains, and the non-glaciated Northern Plains, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.