US construction group calls for action

US construction group calls for action
Published: 06 June 2005

The Associated General Contractors of America has called on the country’s commerce secretary to intervene in what it called an increasingly dire supply for cement in the United States before major economic disruptions occur. In calling for Carlos M. Gutierrez to take action, AGC said it has received reports in the last week from contractors and concrete suppliers documenting quotas, delays and possible layoffs due to cement shortages in Florida, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri.

"What makes these reports especially alarming is that they are coming at the beginning of the high-demand season for cement, meaning more severe problems are almost certain in the near future," AGC Chief Executive Officer Stephen E. Sandherr said.

Among the items Sandherr said his construction trade association has asked Gutierrez to consider are concluding agreements with domestic cement producers to suspend an anti-dumping duty on Mexican cement. Mexican cement, AGC said, could reach the United States in days by barge or rail, which could reduce congestion and delays for ocean carriers, US ports, and their customers, as well as the construction industry.