The Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) and the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) unveiled their national policy agendas for 2022 and the items of utmost importance to its members. Energy policies, workforce development, and “easing of supply chain challenges” sit at the top of the list.

Energy

The NLBMDA opposes a national energy tax that “would cripple our economic recovery and supports efforts to rein in the activities of the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions absent congressional authority.”

The WDMA supports uniform and fully enforced national energy conservation codes but points out that it is essential to recognize that different regions of the country require different energy criteria to achieve improved energy efficiency based on their climate zone. “A window, door or skylight designed to protect from the cold winters of the north may not be ideal to face the heat of a southern summer. For this reason, any incentives should be tied to the latest ENERGY STAR® program qualification requirements and similar standards that recognize and account for regional climatic differences,” says the association.

WDMA supports improvements to ENERGY STAR® programs that supports ENERGY STAR® qualifying criteria that are based on a minimal number of climatic zones, are presented in a simplified, consumer-friendly format, and do not impose costly, unnecessary testing and labeling requirements. The association adds that it supports periodic changes in the qualifying criteria for windows, doors and skylights that are based on: sound data and analysis; affordable and commercially available technology which provide consumers with a payback on their investment of no more than ten years; and developed under a robust and open collaborative process between EPA and its ENERGY STAR® partners and stakeholders.

Housing Affordability

Housing affordability has become a challenge for more and more families, and increases in home prices and volatility in building material prices have made the dream of homeownership more elusive for prospective buyers, according to Jim Bishop, NLBMDA chair and president of Vesta Lee Lumber Company.

“This volatility has caused uncertainty for dealers, and we call upon the Administration and Congress to work with stakeholders to ease the supply chain challenges that continue to have economic effects,” says Bishop.

The association also supports the mortgage interest deduction and opposes efforts that would eliminate or substantially modify it.

Workforce Development and Trade

Whether it’s in the manufacturing plant or on the installation side, workforce development plays a key role going forward. The NLBMDA expresses concerns about the growing skills gap in the nation’s workforce and the negative effects it is having on residential construction. To that end, the association supports the Perkins Act that provides federal support to state and local career technical education (CTE) programs, as well as proposals to expand vocational training, apprenticeships, and work-based learning.

As for those supply chain issues wreaking havoc on industry lead times, the NLBMDA supports reaching an agreement on the longstanding U.S.-Canadian softwood lumber dispute that brings stability and predictability to the pricing and availability of softwood lumber without the imposition of duties. “Additionally, we strongly urge the United States Trade Representative and the Secretary of Commerce to consult with all stakeholders, including retailers and consumers of lumber products, in future discussions regarding any terms of trade in softwood lumber between the U.S. and Canada,” states the NLBMDA policy agenda.

The comprehensive agendas for both associations cover everything from tax and economic policy, product supply and trade, workplace issues and workforce policies, energy, transportation, and more.

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