Building a Future for Distributors and Dealers of Building Products

Volume 44,  Issue 9                                       November/December  2005

     In the News

Millwork Companies Aid Relief Efforts After the Hurricanes

In the weeks since Hurricane Katrina crashed through the Gulf Coast, many companies in the millwork and building supplies industries have offered aid—as well as building products and donations—to communities in need. 

Great Neck Saw Manufacturers of Mineola, N.Y., has teamed up with Andrea Ridout of the radio show “Ask Andrea” to provide thousands of products to the Dallas-area Habitat for Humanity. The in-kind donation will assist in Habitat’s rebuilding efforts in the areas affected by the hurricane. 

Great Neck Saw Manufacturers has donated 4,400 53-socket and wrench sets; 3,500 2-piece plastic swivel head flashlight sets; 3,000 lighted screwdriver and flashlight sets; 1,400 96-piece tool sets with chests; and 1,300 36-piece marine tool sets thus far.

“On behalf of the employees and management at Great Neck Saw Manufacturers, we express our deepest sympathy to everyone touched by this tragic event,” said Steve Maltese, director of marketing at Great Neck. “Joining forces with Andrea Ridout and supplying tools to Habitat for Humanity allows Great Neck Saw Manufacturers to do its part in the rebuilding effort.”

In an effort to support local community collection sites, Weather Shield Windows & Doors of Medford, Wis., has supplied drivers, trucks and trailers to transport items collected by the local community to help the tens of thousands who were affected by the hurricanes.

“We worked with the Salvation Army to collect items of immediate need,” said Jeff Williams, senior brand manager at Weather Shield. “Like so many others, we want to do whatever we can to support the victims of Katrina and Rita. In a disaster situation like this, it takes a stronghold of people working together to provide priority needs such as food, water and clothing.” 

Hundreds of boxes of non-perishable goods, personal toiletry items and cleaning supplies were collected at collection sites in both Medford and Greenwood, Wis. 

Shortly after Katrina hit, employees of Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co. Inc. and the town of Wausau, Wis., pulled together to collect more than a semi-truck full of goods for hurricane relief. 

Kolbe employees and family members filled half a semi-truck, while area schools and local businesses filled the remainder of the truck with items such as food, clothing and hygiene items. When the doors finally closed there were still boxes sitting on the dock for yet another truck to be loaded and sent down. Kolbe distributor Coastal Door and Window in Alabama teamed up with the Volunteers of America, the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross, to help distribute these items to areas worst hit by Katrina. 

A trailer from Vinyl Window Technologies (ViWinTech) of Paducah, Ky., also joined the convoy headed to the Gulf Coast. The company donated one of its 53-foot tractor trailers and a driver to deliver nearly $7,000 worth of supplies to hurricane survivors and responders in Jackson, Miss. The 400-mile trip resulted in the donation of a truckload of 300 health kits including toiletry items, 100 flood buckets with cleaning supplies, water, clothes and bibles.

Since financial aid is also an immediate need for those affected by Katrina, an additional fundraising effort is underway by employees of Schield Family Companies through the Weather Shield Employee LITE Foundation. The Schield family, the founders and owners of the company, will match employee cash contributions up to $5,000. 

Other companies are also offering cash donations to hurricane victims. 

VT Industries of Holstein, Iowa, has donated $25,000 to the Salvation Army. In addition, VT matched donations from their employees at all facility locations through October for additional financial assistance to the Salvation Army for those storm victims in need. 

Atlas Roofing Corp., through its parent company Hood Companies of Hattiesburg, Miss., will contribute to a hurricane relief fund established by Mississippi-born author John Grisham.

Warren A. Hood, Jr. and his wife, Carolyn, announced that Hood Companies will contribute $3 million to Grisham’s Rebuild The Coast Fund. 

“I would like to echo the sentiments expressed by Mr. Grisham in that we don’t normally publicize our gifts,” Hood said. “But, I hope this gift will inspire other Mississippi companies and individuals to contribute generously to the relief efforts. I believe that it is important that we help our fellow Mississippians who have been so tragically hurt by Hurricane Katrina.”

For additional information about Hurricane Katrina, please read the October 2005 issue of SHELTER, page 38.

Latest NAFTA Decision Rules to End Lumber Tariffs
A unanimous decision by a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) panel has found that that Canadian lumber exports into the U.S. are not subsidized. 

“[The recent] verdict, the latest in a series of unanimous NAFTA rulings, shows once again that there is absolutely no justification for the administration to continue imposing punitive tariffs on Canadian lumber shipments,” said David Wilson, president of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a custom home builder from Ketchum, Idaho.

U.S. law allows countervailing duties to be imposed only when two conditions exist: when a foreign supplier is benefiting from subsidies and U.S. producers are being injured, or threatened with injury, as a result. An earlier unanimous NAFTA ruling found that there was no injury or threat of injury. This recent decision found that there was no subsidy.

For the fifth time, the NAFTA panel found that the calculations used by the U.S. Commerce Department to determine if Canadian lumber is subsidized are flawed. The NAFTA panel had previously called on the Commerce Department to reduce its countervailing duty. On July 13, the Commerce Department responded with a finding that Canadian lumber received a 1.21-percent subsidy, down significantly from the 17.2-percent rate it had previously calculated. Nevertheless, it has continued to collect countervailing duties of 17.2 percent and anti-dumping duties averaging 4 percent on Canadian lumber. 

This NAFTA ruling determined that the subsidy is below 1 percent, which under U.S. law is de minimus and not subject to duties. 

The U.S. government imposed countervailing and anti-dumping duties totaling 27 percent on softwood lumber in May of 2002, charging that Canadian imports represented a “threat” to domestic lumber producers. The percentage was subsequently reduced but remained above 20 percent.

On August 10, a NAFTA Extraordinary Challenge Committee upheld a previous NAFTA verdict that found no threat of injury from Canadian imports. It also stipulated that the U.S. was required to refund the billions of dollars of duties that Canada had paid to date.

Although a NAFTA ruling carries the weight of law in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, the administration has failed to comply with its legal obligations to rescind the duties and return all duties paid out by Canadian firms, according to a NAHB news release.

“Several unanimous NAFTA verdicts by American and Canadian panelists have all come to the same conclusion—that Ottawa does not subsidize its timber industry and that domestic producers face no threat of injury from their northern counterparts. The rulings are crystal clear. There is nothing to negotiate and no reason not to have free trade. Therefore, the administration should stop dragging its feet and allow these costly tariffs to disappear,” said Wilson.

Lanoga Corp. Makes Two Acquisitions
Redmond, Wash.-based Lanoga Corp. has announced its purchase of substantially all the assets of Parker Lumber, a Pro Dealer chain with 13 locations in Texas. According to a news release from Lanoga, Scott Parker will continue as president of Parker Lumber, which will become a new division of Lanoga, and will work closely with Ed Gray, manager of market development Southwest to expand in the large and growing Texas market.

The company has also purchased substantially all the assets of Carter Lee Lumber, a large pro dealer in Indianapolis, Ind.

Carter Lee will become part of Lanoga’s United Building Centers Division, and report directly to Dale Kukowski, UBC president. 

Terms of both acquisitions were not disclosed.

circle card #174

Four-Company Reorganization Produces HOMESHIELD
Quanex Corp. of Houston has reorganized subsidiaries AMSCO Engineered Products of Rice Lake, Wis., Colonial Craft of Luck, Wis., Imperial Products of Richmond, Ind., and Homeshield Fabricated Products of Chatsworth, Ill., to become the door and window manufacturing division HOMESHIELD.

According to a joint news release, each company brings its own tradition of quality craftsmanship and customer service to the goals of strengthening the unified HOMESHIELD brand and of becoming the leading fenestration supply company in the industry. 

circle card #172 

Polincay and Madimex Form Marketing Alliance
With more production and a wider variety of products than ever, Polincay of Santiago, Chile, has decided to take a different approach of how to handle its products in the global market. The company has signed a commercial and marketing agreement with Madimex in order to increase sales while keeping the same service that the company has provided in the past.

Madimex is a wood-based products wholesaler from Chile and South America that for more than 10 years has been offering products and providing solutions to customers worldwide with a careful quality control.

This new strategic marketing alliance combines Polincay’s own production capacities with a diversified product range from third parties and service providers, which the company believes will meet the needs of its customers and attract others to this new company.

circle card #173

© Copyright Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.