Construction Today - October 2016 - 13

Policy Positions
According to their websites, both Clinton
and Trump indicate they favor housing and
infrastructure projects, but differ on immigration, regulation and free trade. These are
equally important issues to the construction
industry, so let's take a look at the effect of
these policies.
Trump's positions include immigration
moderation such that "before any new green
cards are issued to foreign workers abroad,
there will be a pause where employers will
have to hire from the domestic pool of unemployed immigrant and native workers." In
addition, his positions include "a temporary
pause on new regulations and a review of
previous regulations to see which need to be
scrapped"; and trade reform including "renegotiating the North American Free Trade
Agreement [NAFTA]," and "withdrawing
from the Trans-Pacific Partnership [TPP]."
Clinton's positions include "rejecting trade

agreements that do not meet high standards," saying "no to trade
deals, like the TPP"; pursuing "smarter, fairer, tougher trade policies
that put U.S. job creation first"; "comprehensive immigration reform
with a pathway to full and equal citizenship" and "cutting red tape."

Steven M. Cvitanovic
is a partner with Haight
Brown & Bonesteel and
the leader of its construction law practice group.

What Does It All Mean?
The Labor Shortage: The industry depends on legal immigrant labor.
At the same time, it is true there are millions of Americans who
are either unemployed and looking for a job, or who have dropped
out of the labor market. Trump's policy to put Americans back to
work again is reasonable, but it remains unclear what is meant by a
"pause" on hiring new immigrant workers until employers hire from
a pool of unemployed Americans. There is already a labor shortage
in the trades, yet millions of Americans remain unemployed.
Explaining why there is a labor shortage in the construction industry while millions remain unemployed is not easy. Regardless of what
those factors are, excluding new legal immigrants from the labor pool
without a plan to bring current citizens into the labor pool through
training or education will only exacerbate the current labor shortage.
On the other hand, Clinton advocates for a path to citizenship for
immigrants as well as job training programs, none of which suggest
any "pause" would be implemented.
Regulations: Trump has hammered away at excessive regulations
and has vowed to reduce them. As chief executive, the president's
powers to implement or eliminate regulations are very broad.
Overall, the industry is receptive to Trump's message. A recent
NAHB study found that government regulations averaged 24.3
percent of the price of a new home. According to the NAHB, this
amounts to $84,671 on average for any new home.
The closest thing on Clinton's website having to do with regulations is "cutting red tape" for small businesses. Her position on
reducing the regulatory burden on the industry is undefined.
Free Trade: Trump wants to renegotiate NAFTA, and both candidates are opposed to the TPP. However, both candidates must be
mindful that free trade strongly affects the costs of building materials, as witnessed by the NAHB's formation of AALC. Moreover, U.S.
building products perform well in a global trade environment and
nearly 60 percent of U.S. exports went to just four markets: Canada
(No. 1), Mexico (No. 2), China (No. 3) and Japan (No. 4), according to
the Department of Commerce.
In 2015, U.S. exports of building materials amounted to $35.2 billion and the Commerce Department projects that exports will grow
to $39.4 billion in 2018.
Despite strong voter sentiment against Clinton and Trump, both
recognize the importance of housing and infrastructure as it relates
to the U.S. economy. However, their respective policies - which lack
a considerable amount of detail - present a mixed-bag on immigration, regulations and free trade.

With more than 20 years
of experience representing and counseling
construction owners,
builders and contractors,
he has been involved in
all phases of construction
litigation and claims
in matters involving
construction defect,
contractor licensing, mechanics liens, payment,
prevailing wages, risk
management and surety
law. He can be reached
at scvitanovic@hbblaw.
com or 415-281-7608.

13

OCTOBER 2016 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM

ELECTION 2016

shortage of qualified laborers was at the top
of every CEO's list of worries, according to the
AGC. That same survey found that 70 percent
of firms had difficulty finding qualified
workers, and 69 percent felt that labor conditions will remain as tight, or worsen.
An NAHB economist recently reported that
76 percent of builders expect the labor shortage to be a major issue in 2016, compared to
2013 when only 53 percent of builders rated
labor a problem.
According to an article from The Atlantic
last year, 1.4 million fewer people were employed in construction in 2015 than in 2007.
The Industry is also worried about the
continued expansion of regulatory burdens,
with 57 percent of builders and 39 percent of
contractors reporting it an issue.
Then there's the price of building materials. China's construction slowdown has kept
a lid on price increases, but the cost of building materials is ever-present. So much so
that the NAHB formed the American Alliance
of Lumber Consumers (AALC) to support free
trade in lumber and building materials.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Construction Today - October 2016

Contents
Construction Today - October 2016 - Cover1
Construction Today - October 2016 - Cover2
Construction Today - October 2016 - 1
Construction Today - October 2016 - Contents
Construction Today - October 2016 - 3
Construction Today - October 2016 - 4
Construction Today - October 2016 - 5
Construction Today - October 2016 - 6
Construction Today - October 2016 - 7
Construction Today - October 2016 - 8
Construction Today - October 2016 - 9
Construction Today - October 2016 - 10
Construction Today - October 2016 - 11
Construction Today - October 2016 - 12
Construction Today - October 2016 - 13
Construction Today - October 2016 - 14
Construction Today - October 2016 - 15
Construction Today - October 2016 - 16
Construction Today - October 2016 - 17
Construction Today - October 2016 - 18
Construction Today - October 2016 - 19
Construction Today - October 2016 - 20
Construction Today - October 2016 - 21
Construction Today - October 2016 - 22
Construction Today - October 2016 - 23
Construction Today - October 2016 - 24
Construction Today - October 2016 - 25
Construction Today - October 2016 - 26
Construction Today - October 2016 - 27
Construction Today - October 2016 - 28
Construction Today - October 2016 - 29
Construction Today - October 2016 - 30
Construction Today - October 2016 - 31
Construction Today - October 2016 - 32
Construction Today - October 2016 - 33
Construction Today - October 2016 - 34
Construction Today - October 2016 - 35
Construction Today - October 2016 - 36
Construction Today - October 2016 - 37
Construction Today - October 2016 - 38
Construction Today - October 2016 - 39
Construction Today - October 2016 - 40
Construction Today - October 2016 - 41
Construction Today - October 2016 - 42
Construction Today - October 2016 - 43
Construction Today - October 2016 - 44
Construction Today - October 2016 - 45
Construction Today - October 2016 - 46
Construction Today - October 2016 - 47
Construction Today - October 2016 - 48
Construction Today - October 2016 - 49
Construction Today - October 2016 - 50
Construction Today - October 2016 - 51
Construction Today - October 2016 - 52
Construction Today - October 2016 - 53
Construction Today - October 2016 - 54
Construction Today - October 2016 - 55
Construction Today - October 2016 - 56
Construction Today - October 2016 - 57
Construction Today - October 2016 - 58
Construction Today - October 2016 - 59
Construction Today - October 2016 - 60
Construction Today - October 2016 - 61
Construction Today - October 2016 - 62
Construction Today - October 2016 - 63
Construction Today - October 2016 - 64
Construction Today - October 2016 - 65
Construction Today - October 2016 - 66
Construction Today - October 2016 - 67
Construction Today - October 2016 - 68
Construction Today - October 2016 - 69
Construction Today - October 2016 - 70
Construction Today - October 2016 - 71
Construction Today - October 2016 - 72
Construction Today - October 2016 - 73
Construction Today - October 2016 - 74
Construction Today - October 2016 - 75
Construction Today - October 2016 - 76
Construction Today - October 2016 - 77
Construction Today - October 2016 - 78
Construction Today - October 2016 - 79
Construction Today - October 2016 - 80
Construction Today - October 2016 - 81
Construction Today - October 2016 - 82
Construction Today - October 2016 - 83
Construction Today - October 2016 - 84
Construction Today - October 2016 - 85
Construction Today - October 2016 - 86
Construction Today - October 2016 - 87
Construction Today - October 2016 - 88
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Construction Today - October 2016 - 90
Construction Today - October 2016 - 91
Construction Today - October 2016 - 92
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Construction Today - October 2016 - 94
Construction Today - October 2016 - 95
Construction Today - October 2016 - 96
Construction Today - October 2016 - 97
Construction Today - October 2016 - 98
Construction Today - October 2016 - 99
Construction Today - October 2016 - 100
Construction Today - October 2016 - 101
Construction Today - October 2016 - 102
Construction Today - October 2016 - 103
Construction Today - October 2016 - 104
Construction Today - October 2016 - 105
Construction Today - October 2016 - 106
Construction Today - October 2016 - 107
Construction Today - October 2016 - 108
Construction Today - October 2016 - 109
Construction Today - October 2016 - 110
Construction Today - October 2016 - 111
Construction Today - October 2016 - 112
Construction Today - October 2016 - 113
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Construction Today - October 2016 - 115
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Construction Today - October 2016 - 118
Construction Today - October 2016 - 119
Construction Today - October 2016 - 120
Construction Today - October 2016 - 121
Construction Today - October 2016 - 122
Construction Today - October 2016 - 123
Construction Today - October 2016 - 124
Construction Today - October 2016 - 125
Construction Today - October 2016 - 126
Construction Today - October 2016 - 127
Construction Today - October 2016 - 128
Construction Today - October 2016 - Cover3
Construction Today - October 2016 - Cover4
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