In a step forward to address the nation’s growing housing affordability crisis, the White House and House Democrats have agreed on a deal to advance the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The House ratified the trade pact on Dec. 19 and the Senate is expected to follow suit at the beginning of next year.
Trade policy affects housing costs and the USMCA has important implications for the home building industry.
The U.S. residential construction and remodeling industries rely on tens of billions of dollars in building materials sourced from Mexico and Canada annually because America cannot produce enough steel, aluminum and other materials and equipment to meet the needs of the domestic housing industry. The price volatility of these imported materials and equipment are needlessly driving up housing costs and exacerbating the nation’s housing affordability woes.
The USMCA is clearly a major improvement over the outdated 25-year-old NAFTA. By modernizing and strengthening free trade with our largest trading partners, the U.S. International Trade Commission predicts that the USMCA will create more than 175,000 new jobs, add about $70 billion to the economy and boost wages for American workers.
“NAHB commends President Trump and House Democrats for working together in a bipartisan spirit to reach an agreement on approving the USMCA trade deal, which represents a win for the U.S. economy, a win for American jobs and a win for housing affordability,” said NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde. “Many of the products that go into American homes come from Mexico or Canada. By moving swiftly to ratify the USMCA, Congress will help to address the nation’s housing affordability crisis.”