Alexis Haakensen is Senior Advisor in the Office of the Assistant Secretary, Industry and Analysis
The NAHB International Builders’ Show® (IBS) is the largest annual light construction show in the world, attracting more than 60,000 visitors and 1,500 exhibitors from 100 countries. IBS brings together the industry’s most important global manufacturers and suppliers to showcase the latest products, materials and technologies for all types of buildings — including wood, concrete, stone and brick.
This year during the show, industry experts from ITA’s Industry and Analysis unit are collaborating with the National Association of Home Builders to put on a seminar for exporters called “International Trade…At the Crossroads.” Gary Stanley and Brian Ledgerwood with the Office of Materials Industries gave presentations on the current state of the building products sector, its export performance, the Top Markets Report, and the ways that the international trade administration and the USG can partner with U.S. companies looking to expand their export markets.
U.S. building products perform well in a global trade environment characterized by fierce competition and often thin margins on sales. The industry is currently experiencing a modest contraction in export growth mainly attributable to the strengthening U.S. dollar. However, the near and medium term export potential is forecast to remain strong. U.S. exports in this sector totaled $83 billion in 2016 and are expected to increase to $92.96 billion by 2018. This boost in exports come is due in part to strong brand recognition for U.S. building product manufacturers, who have a reputation for high quality manufacture, performance and durability. The diversity of the overall top markets for U.S. exports—Canada, Mexico, China, Japan, the UK, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Australian, Hong Kong, and Korea—show that U.S. building products are competitive in construction markets worldwide and in both highly developed and developing economies. U.S. manufacturers have much to offer global markets that recognize how increasing building performance can contribute to public and private sector goals and priorities.
The breadth of that technology is on display at the International Builders Show. IBS includes 565,000 net square feet of exhibit space highlighting the industry’s best products. IBS also offers the most up-to-date and innovative education the industry has to offer. The 2017 show features 160+ sessions in eight tracks, taught by renowned building industry experts from across the country. With topics ranging from sales and marketing to construction and codes. IBS Visitors can also what the building universe has to offer in one trip through Design & Construction Week® (DCW).
Since the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) was founded in the early 1940s, NAHB has served as the voice of America’s housing industry. NAHB helps its members build communities. Each year, NAHB’s members construct about 80 percent of the new homes built in the United States, both single-family and multifamily. A federation of more than 700 state and local associations, NAHB represents more than 140,000 members. About one-third are home builders and remodelers. The rest work in closely related specialties such as sales and marketing, housing finance, and manufacturing and supplying building materials. NAHB is also a founding partner and member of the International Housing Association, which works to advance home building around the globe with educational programs and entrepreneurial opportunities.