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NEWS RELEASE 03-045; May 15, 2003 May 15, 2003
News Release 03-045
Inv. No. 332-445

WOOD STRUCTURAL BUILDING COMPONENTS INDUSTRY BENEFITS FROM STRONG U.S. HOUSING MARKET

Driven principally by strong residential construction, U.S. production of wood structural building components increased from $7.5 billion in 1997 to $10.7 billion in 2002, reports the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in its publication Conditions of Competition in the U.S. Market for Wood Structural Building Components.

The advantages of wood structural building components include labor savings, reduced construction time, specific engineered design values, design flexibility, and efficient utilization of wood fiber, according to the report. These advantages helped wood maintain its dominance in the U.S. residential market for structural building materials compared with its principal substitutes.

The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, recently completed the study for the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance. As requested, the ITC reported on wood structural building components including beams and arches, roof and floor trusses, I-joists, prefabricated partitions and panels for buildings, and other structural wood members that are used in residential and commercial construction.

According to the ITC report, manufacturers of trusses and prefabricated panels, both in the United States and Canada, are typically small, often family-owned firms located close to the markets they serve. These firms usually sell directly to home builders and framers. Manufacturers of engineered wood products are generally much larger, integrated forest products firms that usually sell to building material dealers.

The publication further reports that U.S. imports of wood structural building components, principally from Canada, increased irregularly from $169.2 million in 1997 to $394.3 million in 2002. Wood structural building components account for a growing part of the Canadian wood products industry, and the United States accounts for more than 90 percent of Canadian exports of wood structural building components. Commission questionnaire responses and industry officials indicate the impact of U.S. imports of Canadian trusses is primarily on U.S. border states.

Conditions of Competition in the U.S. Market for Wood Structural Building Components (Inv. No. 332-445, USITC Publication 3596, April 2003) will be available in the Publications section of the ITC's Internet site at www.usitc.gov. A printed copy may be requested by calling 202-205-1809 or by writing the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may be faxed to 202-205-2104.

ITC general factfinding investigations, such as this one, cover matters related to tariffs or trade and are generally conducted at the request of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Senate Committee on Finance, or the House Committee on Ways and Means. The resulting reports convey the Commission's objective findings and independent analyses on the subjects investigated. The Commission makes no recommendations on policy or other matters in its general factfinding reports. Upon completion of each investigation, the ITC submits its findings and analyses to the requester. General factfinding investigation reports are subsequently released to the public, unless they are classified by the requester for national security reasons.

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