Pro dealers take on Washington
Arlington, Va. — In a hotel conference room here filled with pro dealers about to make their lobbying rounds on Capitol Hill, the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association’s Jonathan Paine and Ben Gann rallied the troops.
Up on the screen was a list of 24 names, all Republicans. It was a lobbying hit list of congressmen from Rob Bishop of Utah to Don Young of Arkansas. These legislators had supported previous versions of the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act, but who have not signed on for the current version — HR 2746.
A clear opportunity, according to Paine. "Remind them that they have supported this legislation in the past," he said. "There’s no reason these folks should not support this bill again."
One of the key points to bring to these legislators, and anyone else for that matter, is that retailers should not be held liable for merely selling a product. "That’s the message that has to get across," Gann offered.
A dealer asked about the bill’s impact on consumer protection (separate issue). Another asked about a senate version (The act needs support in the house first). And through the room, dealers took notes and prepared talking points for a day of lobbying.
The scene above played out during the 2014 NLBMDA Spring Meeting & Legislative Conference, which brought together dealers and building material suppliers from around the country to push the lumberyard industry’s national agenda. (Click here for more information.)
In addition to the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act, the NLBMDA’s talking points included three other priority issues. Collected here are excerpts from the talking points:
Reform EPA Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule
Key point: The rule that requires certain renovation work to be supervised and performed by EPA-certified firms is an example of excessive regulation. The removal of an opt-out clause for homes without children or pregnant adds $336 million to compliance costs.
The ask: Cosponsor the Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act and support reforms to the program.
Online Sales Tax Fairness
Key point: The same rules that apply to community-based retailers should apply to online retailers.
The ask: Encourage members of the house to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act.
Improving Energy Efficiency
Key point: Green building rating systems should be product neutral.
The ask: Pass the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, ensuring that federal agencies do not unfairly exclude certain building materials, such as wood.
The NLBMDA Legislative Conference runs through Wednesday.
Royal Building Products partners with U.S. Lumber
Marion, Va.-based Royal Building Products has added U.S. Lumber to its Southeast and Mid-Atlantic distribution network, the company announced Monday.
“With the rapid growth of new, low-maintenance product alternatives, we are constantly adding high-quality brands that deliver on that promise to our contractor-oriented, pro-yard customers," said Jeff McClendon, president of U.S. Lumber. "The Royal brand is a perfect addition to that list.”
U.S. Lumber will distribute RBP’s Royal trim and mouldings profiles, including S4S Trimboard, Royal Trimboard sheet stock, fascia, window and door surrounds, and decorative moulding.
“We have ambitious goals for the Exteriors division of Royal, and U.S. Lumber is an ideal partner for helping us generate more demand for our products,” said Simon Bates, VP and general manager, Royal Exteriors.
The Royal Exteriors division will provide U.S. Lumber with trim and mouldings manufactured at its Marion facility in southwestern Virginia and in Bristol, Tenn.
Jones Lumber Company joins US LBM
The latest addition to the US LBM Holdings family is Jones Lumber Company of Boca Raton, Fla.
“Jones Lumber is a key strategic addition to the US LBM team, expanding our presence and capabilities into the Southeastern region,” said L.T. Gibson, president and CEO of US LBM. “The dedicated and knowledgeable team at Jones enjoy success by providing a local feel and focus to their customers, which aligns perfectly with the goals of US LBM. We are excited to partner with Jones Lumber and look forward to continuing and expanding on its past achievements, while also focusing on growing its product and customer base.”
Founder and president Mark Jones launched the company in 1981, and it has been supplying lumber and building materials to the South Florida markets ever since.
Its product offerings include dimensional lumber of all species, pressure-treated lumber, Southern Yellow Pine, plywood and a variety of hardware items for home builders, remodelers and specialty contractors. Currently, it has two locations in Fort Pierce and Boca Raton.
“We are excited and proud to join the US LBM team," said Jones. "Jones Lumber has been a key partner in the development of our communities for over 33 years. This opportunity enables us to continue providing superior products and services to our loyal clients across South Florida, while providing a platform for growth to our associates and partners well into the future.”