Construction Today - December 2017 - 13

President Trump rolled back President
Obama's Executive Order Establishing of a
Federal Flood Risk Management Standard
(FFRMS), which governs federal actions in
floodplains. The FFRMS was designed to
reduce future flood disasters. According to
the NAHB, the FFRMS was "an overreaching
environmental rule that needlessly hurt
housing affordability."
Trump has broad powers as Executive-In-Chief to administer the laws enacted
by Congress. However, he is not able to
override those laws with Executive Orders.
Whether these or other Executive Orders
do that remains to be seen, and will be the
subject of litigation.

Free Trade
Trump has railed against NAFTA. While
NAFTA may have moved jobs to Mexico, it
also creates high paying jobs for U.S. workers.
Some of the U.S. job losses are in industries
where we are uncompetitive anyway - like
garment manufacturing - and some losses
are due to automation.
Experts may debate the "net effects" of
NAFTA but there is no doubt that the auto,
agriculture and pharmaceutical industries -
among many others - have flourished under
free trade. What's more, Mexico and Canada
account for approximately 35 percent of U.S.
exports. Canada also imports more from the
United States than it exports to the United
States, not such a bad deal after all.
U.S homebuilders rely greatly on Canadian lumber and building products manufactured in Mexico. The NAHB is greatly concerned about the current softwood lumber
dispute with Canada and is actively involved
in finding a long-term solution that provides
a steady supply of lumber at a reasonable
price. NAHB CEO Jerry Howard said that he
can't overstate the importance of solving the
U.S.-Canadian softwood lumber dispute. The
U.S. Commerce Department has imposed
duties averaging 26.75 percent on Canadian
lumber shipments into the United States.

The NAHB released the following statement regarding new
tariffs on Canadian lumber: "NAHB is deeply disappointed in this
short-sighted action by the U.S. Department of Commerce that will
ultimately do nothing to resolve issues causing the U.S.-Canadian
lumber trade dispute but will negatively harm American consumers
and housing affordability."
According to the NAHB, the cost of this new duty will increase
Canadian lumber costs for U.S. customers by 6.4 percent, increasing
the price of an average new single-family home by $1,236.
The United States, Canada and Mexico started discussing changes
to NAFTA last August, and are now in the fourth round of negotiations. The Trump administration is talking tough and the alarm
bells are now going off in Washington, D.C.
Business leaders and lobbyists swarmed Capitol Hill on Oct. 24,
2017, to preserve NAFTA and warn that withdrawing from it could
devastate their profits and harm the United States' ability to compete
in a global market.
The world is getting smaller, not bigger. For the United States
to compete, it must be part of trade agreements that are fair to all
parties. Withdrawing from NAFTA would be a major mistake and
harm to the U.S. economy as a whole and likely increase the costs of
construction projects.

Steven
Cvitanovic
is a partner
in Haight
Brown & Bonesteel's Los
Angeles office. He has
extensive experience
with construction
litigation and claims
involving public facilities
and infrastructure.

Labor Shortage
Rebuilding from hurricanes in Texas and Florida, and the fires in
Northern California, will only add to the shortage. There are well
over 10 million unemployed Americans between the ages of 25 to 50.
Trump's statements that these jobs should be filled by U.S. workers is
laudable, but not realistic.
According to the Los Angeles Times, "the share of immigrants in
construction in California jumped from 13 percent in 1980 to about
43 percent today, according to a UCLA analysis of federal data." President Trump has placed the blame on immigrant labor for the high
American unemployment.
He is confusing cause and effect. Immigrants are not displacing
American workers in the construction trades. Rather, immigrants are
filling the void in the construction workforce that has been created
by Americans not seeking or wanting to do that work.
On April 18, 2017, President Trump signed the Buy American and
Hire American Executive Order, which "seeks to create higher wages
and employment rates for U.S. workers and to protect their economic
interests by rigorously enforcing and administering our immigration laws" according to the Department of Homeland Security
Website. He has also decided to eliminate the Deferred Action for
Childhood Arrivals (a.k.a. DACA).
Trump can issue all the Executive Orders he wants, but those
orders are not going to motivate a U.S. worker to join a trade. In fact,
his Executive Orders may worsen the labor shortage.

13

DECEMBER 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM

INDUSTRY TRENDS

FFRMS


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Construction Today - December 2017

Contents
Construction Today - December 2017 - Cover1
Construction Today - December 2017 - Cover2
Construction Today - December 2017 - 1
Construction Today - December 2017 - Contents
Construction Today - December 2017 - 3
Construction Today - December 2017 - 4
Construction Today - December 2017 - 5
Construction Today - December 2017 - 6
Construction Today - December 2017 - 7
Construction Today - December 2017 - 8
Construction Today - December 2017 - 9
Construction Today - December 2017 - 10
Construction Today - December 2017 - 11
Construction Today - December 2017 - 12
Construction Today - December 2017 - 13
Construction Today - December 2017 - 14
Construction Today - December 2017 - 15
Construction Today - December 2017 - 16
Construction Today - December 2017 - 17
Construction Today - December 2017 - 18
Construction Today - December 2017 - 19
Construction Today - December 2017 - 20
Construction Today - December 2017 - 21
Construction Today - December 2017 - 22
Construction Today - December 2017 - 23
Construction Today - December 2017 - 24
Construction Today - December 2017 - 25
Construction Today - December 2017 - 26
Construction Today - December 2017 - 27
Construction Today - December 2017 - 28
Construction Today - December 2017 - 29
Construction Today - December 2017 - 30
Construction Today - December 2017 - 31
Construction Today - December 2017 - 32
Construction Today - December 2017 - 33
Construction Today - December 2017 - 34
Construction Today - December 2017 - 35
Construction Today - December 2017 - 36
Construction Today - December 2017 - 37
Construction Today - December 2017 - 38
Construction Today - December 2017 - 39
Construction Today - December 2017 - 40
Construction Today - December 2017 - 41
Construction Today - December 2017 - 42
Construction Today - December 2017 - 43
Construction Today - December 2017 - 44
Construction Today - December 2017 - 45
Construction Today - December 2017 - 46
Construction Today - December 2017 - 47
Construction Today - December 2017 - 48
Construction Today - December 2017 - 49
Construction Today - December 2017 - 50
Construction Today - December 2017 - 51
Construction Today - December 2017 - 52
Construction Today - December 2017 - 53
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Construction Today - December 2017 - 55
Construction Today - December 2017 - 56
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Construction Today - December 2017 - 58
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Construction Today - December 2017 - 60
Construction Today - December 2017 - 61
Construction Today - December 2017 - 62
Construction Today - December 2017 - 63
Construction Today - December 2017 - 64
Construction Today - December 2017 - 65
Construction Today - December 2017 - 66
Construction Today - December 2017 - 67
Construction Today - December 2017 - 68
Construction Today - December 2017 - 69
Construction Today - December 2017 - 70
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Construction Today - December 2017 - 111
Construction Today - December 2017 - 112
Construction Today - December 2017 - Cover3
Construction Today - December 2017 - Cover4
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http://digital.construction-today.com/nxtbooks/businessmedia/ct_201102
http://digital.construction-today.com/nxtbooks/businessmedia/ct_201101
http://digital.construction-today.com/nxtbooks/businessmedia/ct_201012
http://digital.construction-today.com/nxtbooks/businessmedia/ct_201011
http://digital.construction-today.com/nxtbooks/businessmedia/ct_201010
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http://digital.construction-today.com/nxtbooks/schofield/ct_200912
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