What to do with trees, both before and after they're milled, combined with regulatory issues to take prominent places in the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association's (NLBMDA) 2018 National Policy Agenda released today.

Three out of four paragraphs in the opening letter to policymakers from NLBMDA Chair Rick Lierz touched on wood-related issues: formal support for greater sustainable harvesting of federal forests, promotion of new technologies that make possible the construction of tall wood buildings, and resolution of the softwood lumber dispute between the U.S. and Canada coupled with the end of duties on Canadian softwood lumber imports.

As for regulations, Lierz and NLBMDA applauded recent Trump Administration efforts to reduce regulatory burdens on businesses, but then declared: "more action is needed to roll back the red tape and costly mandates that dampen economic growth." For instance, NLBMDA supports exempting short-term truck rentals from the new electronic logging devices requirement.

Among other issues, NLBMDA:

  • Once again endorses the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act (H.R. 1118) and other legislation "that would preserve victims’ access to courts while holding sellers harmless when they have not acted negligently in the design, manufacture, sale, or installation of a legal product."
  • Supports immigration policies and employment verification procedures "that are reasonable and do not create unfair employment standards or impose financial hardship through costly fines or mandates for small businesses."
  • Supports mandatory use of E-Verify by employers "provided there be an appropriate phase-in period for small businesses."
  • Supports restoring the “Opt-Out” clause to the Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting rule.
  • Supports increasing the gross vehicle weight to 91,000 pounds on federal interstate highways for vehicles equipped with an additional axle as a way to address the environmental, economic, and safety challenges facing our nation’s freight transportation network.

The agenda will provide the foundation for NLBMDA's requests to members of Congress when association members travel to Capitol Hill on March 19-21 for the group's Spring Meeting and Legislative Conference.