U.S. Cement in Short Supply, Action from U.S. Commerce Secretary Urged

July 14, 2005
PCI and AGC stress importance of alleviating shortage during summer construction season

On June 30, 2005, the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) joined the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America to advise U.S. Commerce Secretary Gutierrez to take action toward the expansion of the supply of cement in the United States. “Adequate supplies of key construction materials are essential to the vitality of the nation’s construction and labor markets,” says PCI President James G. Toscas.

According to Toscas, cement should be readily available, especially if the United States takes advantage of supplies from neighboring countries. “There’s no excuse for a tight cement supply anywhere in the United States,” he says. “Plenty of cement is available right across the border in Mexico, and it’s time to suspend the anti-dumping duty that is restricting its availability. Commerce Secretary Gutierrez is in a position to make this happen.”

Used in bridges as well as for commercial, industrial, residential, and government buildings and parking structures, engineered precast concrete building systems offer high quality, durability, design flexibility, construction speed, and aesthetics. Toscas points out that while cement supplies have not had a significant impact on precast concrete production yet, this could change if the situation is not addressed. “Now, with the summer construction season in full swing and more projects switching to concrete, some states can’t get all the cement they need. This is hurting jobs and economic activity today, as we speak. We don’t have time to waste.”

To find out more about this issue, visit the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) website at (www.pci.org).

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