With tariffs and trade-war talk in the headlines — and doors and windows among the items facing sanctions — a 2017 report from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) shows the importance of U.S.-manufactured fenestration products to global markets.

The ITA report, “Sector Snapshot: U.S. Window and Door Exports,” says U.S. exporters “are maintaining their global market share and are well positioned to capitalize on anticipated growth in international markets.”

According to the study, U.S. fenestration products could be looking toward a bright future on the export market — even with tariffs.

“U.S.-manufactured window and door products enjoy strong global competitiveness,” the report reads. “U.S. products sell well in developed and developing markets and in both proximate and distant countries. They compete in markets with tariffs on imports as well as in those where the United States has preferential market-access agreements. U.S.-manufactured windows and doors enjoy strong brand recognition and a reputation for energy efficiency, quality, durability and performance based on incorporation of leading technologies, materials and designs. This positions U.S. exporters well to capture new demand in global markets.”

Total global trade in doors and windows was $15.2 billion in 2016, the report says. The U.S. exported $768 million worth of fenestration products that year, which represented 5 percent of global trade. (U.S. door and window manufacturers exported products to 154 foreign markets in 2016.) U.S. exports also were 5 percent of global trade in 2011 and 2016. About 54 percent of U.S. door and window exports went to Canada in 2016 and 9 percent went to Mexico.

In 2016, China was the world’s No. 1 exporter of doors and windows with just over 20 percent of global exports originating in that country. That’s up from 18.5 percent in 2011. Germany and Poland each accounted for about 11 percent of world trade. Canada represented 5 percent of global door and window exports.

Metal doors and windows were nearly half of all fenestration products exported by the U.S in 2016, according to the ITA report. Iron and steel doors, windows, frames and thresholds represented 32.4 percent of exports, while aluminum products were 17.7 percent. Plastic products were 17.1 percent of exports; wood doors were 12.6 percent; wood windows and French doors and frames were 9.4 percent; and shutters, blinds and other plastic parts were 8.9 percent.

Aluminum door, window and frame exports grew from 2011-2016, posting a 3.9 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during that time. Iron and steel fenestration exports grew at a 2.1 percent CAGR during the same period. Overall, U.S. door and window exports to the world grew at a 0.3 percent CAGR. Negative growth in wood and plastic window and door exports and plastic shutter and blind exports were the limiting factors.

On July 1, Canada slapped a 10-percent surcharge on aluminum doors, door thresholds and windows from the U.S.

According to statistics from Canada’s Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Canada imported about $108 million in aluminum doors and windows from the U.S. in 2017. That’s about 86 percent of all U.S. global aluminum door and window exports, according to statistics from the ITA. About 17.7 percent of all U.S. global door and window exports were aluminum products, according to the ITA.

Canada exported about $324 million in aluminum doors and windows to the U.S. in 2017, according to statistics from the country’s Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.


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