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Trump Administration Excludes Some Products from Chinese Tariffs Sought by WDMA

Posted By Nicolette Strobing, Friday, June 15, 2018

[Washington, D.C.] In its announcement on tariffs today, the Trump Administration has agreed with WDMA and has removed several products used in the manufacturing of windows, doors, and skylights from a list of proposed tariffs. In the announcement today, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released a list of close to 1,000 products imported from China that will be subject to a 25% tariff. WDMA submitted comments in May requesting specific exclusions for certain products on the list and was ultimately successful.

WDMA successfully requested the following products be excluded from the tariffs:

  1. 73181600 – Iron or steel, nuts;
  2. 73202050 – Iron or steel, helical springs (o/ than suitable for motor vehicle suspension);
  3. 720 - 760 – (Broadly) metal based products in various states of value add;

“WDMA is pleased that the Trump Administration agreed that these products should not be subject to tariffs,” said WDMA President & CEO Michael O’Brien. “Imposing tariffs on these Chinese products would have curtailed the ability of manufacturers to retain responsible Chinese vendors as an option in the supply chain. We have seen the effects that other tariffs, including steel and aluminum, have had on price increases for the residential housing and commercial construction markets. Today’s win will help prevent additional increases for our manufacturers and consumers alike.”

In the same announcement today, USTR has proposed an additional list of 284 products from China that could be subject to a tariff and will undergo further review in a public notice and comment process, including a public hearing. After completion of this process, USTR will issue a final determination on whether to impose an additional tariff. WDMA will evaluate the proposed list and determine if the association will seek additional exemptions.

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WDMA Criticizes Steel and Aluminum Tariffs on Previously Excluded Countries

Posted By Nicolette Strobing, Friday, June 1, 2018

[Washington, D.C.] Today, WDMA is strongly criticizing the Trump Administration’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, 25% and 10% respectively, from the European Union, Mexico and Canada, which had been previously excluded. The Administration decided to impose the tariffs after failing to win concessions during the negotiation of various trade issues. WDMA is concerned the new tariffs will do more harm to the U.S. economy than good.

“WDMA is extremely disappointed with the Trump Administration’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum from these countries,” said WDMA President and CEO Michael O’Brien. “Window, door and skylight manufacturers and their suppliers have been dealing with price increases resulting from the tariffs on steel and aluminum enacted in March. These additional tariffs will result in further price increases for the residential and commercial construction markets, while hindering progress on renegotiating NAFTA. WDMA urges the Trump Administration to reconsider this onerous action.” 

 

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European Union, Canada, and Mexico Given One Month Exemption from Steel and Aluminum Tariffs; Deals Reached with Other Countries

Posted By Nicolette Strobing, Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The White House announced that they will extend current suspensions of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports until June 1 for European Union member countries, Canada and Mexico. In addition, the White House announced they have reached preliminary deals with Argentina, Australia and Brazil, excluding them indefinitely from the tariffs.

The proclamations signed by President Trump:

  •  Suspend until June 1, tariffs on steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico. The extension has been described as a “final” extension as the administration seeks to negotiate outcomes that will impose “quotas that will restrain imports, prevent transshipment, and protect the national security.”
  •  Suspend indefinitely steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from Argentina, Australia and Brazil, with which the administration indicated it had reached preliminary agreements that will be finalized in 30 days.
  •  Suspend indefinitely steel tariffs on imports from South Korea in recognition of the final quota agreement with South Korea. 

The decision to issue these exclusions comes just days ahead of a White House delegation's trip to Beijing to hold trade talks with Chinese officials.

 

Members with questions can contact Kevin McKenney at kmckenney@wdma.com.

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EPA Recommends No Changes to Lead-Based Paint Rule in 610 Review

Posted By Nicolette Strobing, Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has officially published the results of their Section 610 Review of the Lead: Renovation, Repair & Painting Rule (RRP). In the document, EPA stated that they considered the issues and recommendations by industry, including WDMA, however, they will not initiate any rulemaking to correct these issues.

While this result is disappointing, it is not surprising. EPA’s response to issues identified by WDMA has been slow at best. The 610 Review’s overall conclusion was that the RRP Rule’s goal of protecting pregnant women and children under six from lead exposure outweighs certain compliance issues, even if merited. EPA specifically answered twenty questions raised by commenters during the 610 Review process, which include those related to lead test kits and alternative technologies; training and the minor amendments rule; rule implementation, recertification, and enforcement; qualitative/quantitative post-job clearance testing; EPA’s conduct of the Section 610 review; rule scope; economic analysis; and removal of the option to opt-out provision.

In the conclusion, EPA stated that they will continue to work with “small-entity representatives” to minimize any potential unfavorable impacts while continuing to discharge the Agency’s statutory mandate of eliminating lead-based paint hazards in housing and child-occupied facilities as expeditiously as possible.

Members with questions about the 610 Review, or to request a copy, can contact Kevin McKenney at kmckenney@wdma.com or 202-367-2480

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Window Safety Week is April 1-7, 2018 - Tips from the Window Safety Task Force on Keeping Children Safe

Posted By Nicolette Strobing, Wednesday, April 4, 2018

[Washington, DC] - As spring arrives, the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) and the Window Safety Task Force of the National Safety Council (NSC) encourage parents and caregivers of young children to recognize the importance of window safety awareness, especially to prevent accidental falls from open windows and for using windows as a secondary way out of the home in case of fire.   Each year, the WDMA and the Window Safety Task Force takes the first full week in April to emphasize these messages during Window Safety Week. This year Window Safety Week is April 1-7.

While spring is a good time to remind parents and caregivers that falls from a window can result in serious injury or fatality, as well as to have an escape plan in place in case of a fire, window safety needs to be recognized year round. The Window Safety Task Force offers the tips below for preventing windows falls and on fire safety. 

Protecting children from window falls: 

1.  When young children are around, keep windows closed and locked.

2. When opening a window for ventilation, use those located out of a child's reach.

3. Avoid placing furniture near windows to prevent young children from climbing.

4. Don't allow children to jump on beds or other furniture to help reduce potential falls.

5. Don't rely on insect screens to prevent a window fall. Insect screens are designed to keep bugs out, not to keep children in the home.

6. Supervise children to keep child's play away from windows, balconies or patio doors.

7. Install ASTM F2090 compliant devices designed to limit how far a window will open or window guards (with quick-release mechanisms in case of fire or other emergency) to help prevent a fall.

8. Teach your child how to safely use a window to escape during an emergency, such as a fire.

Fire safety:

1. Home fire escape plans should include two exits from every room in the home, through a door and through a window.

2. Conduct fire escape drills during the day and at night, as many home fires occur at night. Conduct drills at least two times a year.

3. Practice opening and closing windows that may be designated as emergency exits and keep them in good working order.

4. If it is necessary to exit through a window in an emergency, first attempt to open it rather than break the glass.

5. Some homes feature windows with impact-resistant glass, most often in hurricane-prone areas. For these types of windows, the window must be opened or another exit route must be used.

6. When remodeling a home, local code officials should be contacted to understand emergency escape and rescue (egress) building code requirements that may be applicable where the home is located. Egress windows are those designated by code as large enough to escape through or for rescue workers to enter in emergency situations.

7. If windows are equipped with window guards or fall prevention devices, local building code officials should be contacted to determine proper placement.

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Federal Court Approves Formaldehyde Regulation Agreement Between Sierra Club and EPA - WDMA Intervened in Case to Protect Industry Manufacturers

Posted By Nicolette Strobing, Wednesday, March 14, 2018

[Washington, DC] - Following the WDMA’s intervention with other affected parties in a court challenge by the Sierra Club to the compliance date for EPA’s Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products (TSCA Title VI), WDMA announced it is satisfied with yesterday’s approval by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California’s of a joint agreement between the Sierra Club, EPA and industry groups, including WDMA, over changes to the compliance date. The regulations cover composite wood products and finished goods they are used in such as most architectural wood doors and certain windows and other doors manufactured by WDMA members.

The agreement sets a new compliance date of June 1, 2018. Composite wood products manufactured or imported after that date must be in compliance. However, composite wood products and finished goods that are certified in compliance with California’s “CARB Phase 2” by a CARB-approved third-party certifier that is also recognized by EPA, will be considered certified under the federal regulation until March 22, 2019.  The emissions requirements in the CARB Phase 2 regulation are the same as those in the federal regulation (TSCA Title VI). 

“Ensuring that CARB Phase 2 compliance be considered certified under the federal regulation until March of next year was essential to our support of the agreement,” said Jeff Inks, WDMA Senior Vice President of Advocacy. “CARB-compliant products which meet the EPA emissions requirements are already prevalent and extensively used in finished goods, so much of the concern was ensuring adequate time for manufacturers to certify products and finished goods as compliant under EPA’s new certification and labeling requirements.”

This matter originated last fall, when the Sierra Club sued EPA after they extended the compliance date from December 12, 2017 to December 12, 2018. In their suit, the Sierra Club asserted that EPA exceeded its authority in extending the date and pleaded with the court to vacate and set aside the “Formaldehyde Delay Rule.”   On February 16, the court agreed with the Sierra Club and did just that, ruling that “the Delay Rule is beyond the scope of the EPA’s authority and is not in accordance with the Formaldehyde Act." 

The court’s action left the compliance date up in the air, leading to concerns a new compliance date could be too early and result in a significant disruption in the supply chain of composite wood products or render some inventories useless. The court gave the Sierra Club and EPA until March 9, to confer and try reach agreement on a new date. WDMA and a number of other trade organizations impacted joined to intervene in the case to allow for participation in reaching an agreement.

“While we strongly disagreed with the original position of the Sierra Club, this agreement will allow our members to plan accordingly for compliance with the rule with less disruption,” added Inks.

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IRS Announces Home Equity Loans Still Eligible for Mortgage Interest Deduction

Posted By Nicolette Strobing, Friday, February 23, 2018

Yesterday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that home equity loans used for substantial home improvements will continue to be eligible for the mortgage interest deduction (MID) under the recently enacted tax reform law.

Throughout the course of the tax reform debate, WDMA continued to urge for the continuation of the ability to deduct mortgage interest on home equity loans and lines of credit. Many consumers use these types of loans for window, door and skylight replacement projects, remodels and additions. The IRS has announced that although the tax reform law eliminated the MID for some home equity debt, it would still be deductible for improvements to the home

"WDMA is pleased that the IRS has made this decision quickly," said WDMA President and CEO Michael O'Brien. "This will allow certainty in the marketplace for consumers considering replacement projects, remodels and home additions as to whether their mortgage interest will continue to be deductible."

To read the IRS announcement, click here.

WDMA members with questions may contact Kevin McKenney, WDMA Director of Government Affairs, at kmckenney@wdma.com.

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Latest North American Fenestration Standard Published

Posted By Nicolette Strobing, Tuesday, February 13, 2018
The 2017 edition of AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440, NAFS — North American Fenestration Standard/Specification for windows, doors, and skylights (NAFS) has received final approval and is now available. After years of collaboration between the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and Window & Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA), this new edition will replace the 2011 version of this standard. The 2011 NAFs is referenced in 2015 editions of the International Building Code and International Residential Code, and the new standard is to be included in the 2018 editions of these codes.

The 2017 standard represents significant steps towards achieving seamless trade across the US/Canadian border for those in the fenestration industry.

To purchase a copy of NAFS-17, visit our online store

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Unique Home Designs Joins WDMA

Posted By Nicolette Strobing, Monday, February 12, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC - The Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) announced today that Unique Home Designs is the newest member of the association.

 

The Window & Door Manufacturers Association defines the standards of excellence in the residential and commercial window, door, and skylight industry and advances these standards among industry members while providing advocacy resources, educational and professional programs, and ways for members to provide greater value to their customers.

 

Unique Home Designs, Inc. is a high growth Arizona-based company that designs, manufactures, and markets security doors, screen doors, and window security screens through multiple sales channels. Headlined by their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Gilbert, AZ, Unique has built world-class manufacturing and import capabilities that enable delivery of everything from mass produced to custom, made-to-order products

The company has built a strong reputation with retail customers and end consumers alike and is well known for the highest level of product quality and customer service in the industry. True to the company’s mission, Unique Home Designs’ offerings consistently leverage innovation and style to deliver unsurpassed value to consumers at every price point.

 

 “We’re excited to announce our membership In the WDMA and view our participation in the Association as a logical and essential step in continuing our company’s growth and sustaining our category leadership” - Jeff Bell, President & CEO of Unique Home Designs 

 

For more information on the Window & Door Manufacturers Association, click here.

 

For more information on Unique Home Designs visit http://uniquehd.com/

 

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WDMA Releases 2018 National Policy Agenda

Posted By Nicolette Strobing, Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, February 13, 2018

[Washington, DC] - The Window & Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) released today the 2018 WDMA National Policy Agenda a comprehensive advocacy agenda for 2018, which outlines important policy priorities for the window, door, and skylight industry that will boost the housing and construction industry and support continued job creation in the vital U.S. manufacturing sector.

 

"Window, door and skylight manufacturers are vital to the residential housing sector and a thriving economy. Washington has an opportunity to advance pro-growth policies that will spur job creation and mitigate the effects of costly regulations that unnecessarily burden manufacturers," said WDMA Chair Phil Donaldson, EVP & CFO of Andersen Corporation. "This agenda will guide policymakers to support policies that promote energy efficiency, eliminate unnecessary regulations, and ensure manufacturers are able to support economic growth for 2018 and beyond."

 

The 2018 WDMA National Policy Agenda is divided into nine different policy areas:

·     Energy Conservation;

·     Building Codes;

·     Environmental Stewardship;

·     Building Safety;

·     Housing & Economic Policy;

·     Tax Policy;

·     Product Supply;

·     Trade Policy; and

·     Workforce/Workplace

 

"WDMA is looking forward to continuing our work with Congress and the Trump Administration to promote fiscally-sound policies that will spur job creation, support housing and building construction and improve the manufacturing climate in this country," said WDMA President and CEO Michael O'Brien.

 

WDMA's 2018 National Policy Agenda will be distributed to members of Congress and key Administration officials and will be used by WDMA members when they visit their U.S. Representative in Congress during the WDMA Spring Meeting and Legislative Conference on March 19-21 in Washington, D.C.

 

To access the 2018 National Policy Agenda, click here

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