NLBMDA responds to new trade agreement
United States, Mexico, and Canada replace NAFTA.
The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) released the following statement on the signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) today in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the G20 Summit. USMCA is a trilateral trade deal with Mexico and Canada that will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) if the legislatures of the three countries ratify it.
USMCA maintains NAFTA’s dispute resolution mechanism allowing for a binational arbitration process regarding countervailing duties (CVD) and anti-dumping duties (AD). These panels have been used in the past as part of the softwood lumber dispute between the U.S. and Canada. In addition, aluminum tariffs of 10 percent and steel tariffs of 25 percent remain in effect for imports from Canada and Mexico despite the new agreement.
All three countries must still ratify the trade agreement for it to take effect, which means both the House of Representatives and Senate will have to approve USMCA next year.
“NLBMDA is pleased that the U.S., Mexico, and Canada have reached an agreement and are moving forward to update NAFTA,” said NLBMDA president and CEO Jonathan Paine. “The U.S. should build on this positive momentum by resolving the softwood lumber dispute with Canada and ending the steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from Mexico and Canada.”
Lowe’s Survey Says: Tall coin spent on holiday spirit
About 70% of Americans will renovate their home for the holidays.
According to a recent survey conducted in conjunction with Lowe’s, the average American will spend about $100,000 in their lifetime on “holiday spirit.”
The survey showed that 70% of Americans will renovate their home before entertaining holiday guests while 69% said they will spend more on their home now than any other time of year and 27% planned to paint their home prior to the holidays.
Other improvements include kitchen upgrades (22%), the guest room (21%), the dining room (21%), and the guest bathroom (17%).
Lowe’s also says the average person will spend more than $1,500 for the holidays with roughly $235 spent on holiday décor, $328 put toward cleaning and storage essentials, and more than $300 for the kitchen, including dining products.
When it comes to gifts, spending about $375 is the average with more than half of survey respondents saying they will buy gifts for others and themselves.
The survey was conducted by OnePoll, a market research company.
Capturing the Spirit of Life
Home Depot’s Giles Bowman raised the flag for City of Hope.
Giles Bowman, senior VP of merchandising, building materials at The Home Depot will accept the Spirit of Life Award at the upcoming City of Hope Hardware/Homebuilding Industry’s fundraising gala Feb. 18 in Las Vegas. Here’s Bowman’s take on the award, and the industry:
Q: Some of the most famous names in home improvement have been tapped for the Spirit of Life Award. What was your reaction to joining the list?
GB: It’s such an honor when you look at the Who’s Who list of names. Naturally, the ones that stick out the most to me are Arthur Blank, Bernie Marcus, Pat Farrah, Bruce Merino and Craig Menear – members of The Home Depot family that I truly honor and respect, mostly for their servant leadership. But the names that go beyond Home Depot are also amazing industry leaders. So, to be added to this list of names is very humbling. Honestly, I was quite shocked when Bruce Merino called me about this. I just kept telling him that I hadn’t done anything to deserve this honor. I will be forever grateful for this Spirit of Life award and I hope I can bring greater awareness to the awesome treatment and research occurring at The City of Hope.
Q: You recently visited the City of Hope in California. What was your takeaway?
GB: It just seems like they are clicking on all cylinders. Most impressive is the talent level of their doctors, researchers and scientists — smart people doing amazing things. My other takeaway is the level of care and attention they give their patients. Unbelievable bed side manner. They treat their patients like people. Not names on a chart. At such a difficult time for the patients they just want to know someone cares about them and is doing everything in their power to help.
Q: Any eye-opening surprises?
GB: That they believe they will have a cure for Type 1 Diabetes in the next 5 years. What a powerful goal they have set!
Q: What’s the connection between a company’s philanthropic spirit and its success?
GB: Giving back is one of our eight core values, and we have no doubt that it’s these values given to us by our founders that are critical to our success. In this case, being involved in the communities where we not only do business, but also live, is essential to our success.
Q: How would you describe the spirt of philanthropy in the home improvement industry in general, and at Home Depot specifically?
GB: I think the home improvement industry has a unique opportunity to make a difference in communities perhaps like none other. For example, when disasters strike, we become a part of the community infrastructure. Like with disasters, we have unique capabilities, products and insight to help groups in truly meaningful ways that go beyond financial support. In 2011, The Home Depot Foundation began to focus on veteran homelessness. We’ve committed millions, but I’m mostly proud of the hard work we’ve done by improving more than 40,000 veterans’ homes and facilities with the help of our skilled and dedicated Team Depot volunteers.
Q: What would you say to an industry executive to convince him or her of the importance of getting involved in big or small ways that give back to the communities they serve?
GB: Well, first of all I hope I don’t have to convince any industry executive to get involved. We are all blessed to be in the positions we are and giving back should come from the heart, not because I try to convince you. By giving back we can make an impact. A real lasting difference in this world. If you want your heart to swell up and feel good, do something for someone else. And do it because you want to, not because you’re told to.
Q: As City of Hope’s top ambassador for the year, what is your go-to message that you like to share with others about City of Hope.
GB: First and foremost, I want everyone to get pissed off at cancer! What a horrible disease that wins too many battles. Too many people taken too soon — 1.7 million people will be diagnosed with cancer this year. All hoping that some type of treatment will work for them. I want everyone to know that the City of Hope is truly turning hope into reality. But they need our help. At Depot we love to roll up our sleeves and provide sweat equity to the causes we support. That maybe painting a house or building a wheelchair ramp. Unfortunately, that sweat equity is not possible at The City of Hope. Their sweat equity comes from their doctors, scientists and researchers. And they need donations to fuel their treatment facilities and research experiments. I’m not sure when we will find a cure for cancer but I know one thing. I have hope. The greatest hope of all—The City of Hope.
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The 2019 Spirit of Life Golf Tournament and Award Reception is slated for Feb. 18 in Las Vegas. The Spirit of Life Award is City of Hope’s most prestigious honor, presented to an esteemed community of industry leaders around the world who have made a significant commitment to support those in need.