Valuable insights from an ITA report on Building Products and Sustainable Construction

United States manufacturers of building products and design and construction service providers may find valuable insights in a new Top Markets Report from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) on Building Products and Sustainable Construction. The report was published July 14, 2015 and utilizes existing trade data and a detailed assessment of industry trends to rank 75 global markets in terms of projected U.S. export opportunities through 2017.

Interested readers will find detailed country specific case studies that provide information on government initiatives and market-based actions and trends driving sustainable construction and traditional building markets, as well as the competitiveness conditions in each country’s import market. Top U.S. export markets for the sector such as China, the Gulf Region, Japan, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Australia are highlighted in these case studies.

ITA’s mission is to increase U.S. exports and help create the conditions in which global trade can flourish. Beyond identifying markets with the greatest prospects, the Top Markets study informs U.S. companies of the ITA resources available to support U.S. companies in their overseas market development objectives through trade promotion, trade facilitation and trade policy work. Trade specialists in 70 overseas locations and 100 U.S. cities stand ready to assist U.S. manufacturers of building products and design and construction service providers with international sales expansion.

The study informs U.S. building materials and construction industry associations how valuable public-private partnerships with ITA have been to increasing sector exports and notes available partnership funding opportunities.

Subsector Focus

ITA’s study identifies some $46 billion in projected export market opportunity for a sector group of U.S. exporters by 2017. ITA acknowledges that U.S. industries across the product and service landscape are making important contributions to sustainability in the built environment. The data analysis considers select sub-sectors, viewing U.S. manufacturers of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration equipment (HVACR), lighting, plumbing, insulation, wood products, doors and windows and glass construction products as well positioned to deliver on the resource conservation and environmental improvement benefits that are key goals of green building, and to meet traditional construction requirements. For each subsector, the Top Markets study ranks all 75 markets in terms of projected export opportunity and highlights the Top 10 markets for each. U.S. companies will be informed of how dense sector exports have become, with the overwhelming majority of exports in each subsector going to the Top 10 markets.

Tariffs play a significant role in foreign market access and directly impact the competitiveness of U.S. exports. ITA’s Top Markets study details leading sector export markets where Free Trade Agreements (FTA) provide benefits to U.S. firms, and underscores ITA’s ongoing work to reduce tariffs on foreign imports of sector goods. The study also elaborates on key non-tariff market challenges such as IPR issues and standards and conformity assessment requirements, and details how ITA is positioned to assist U.S. companies navigate.

The report is part of a larger Top Markets Series, which includes 19 sector-specific reports to help exporters compare opportunities and target resources more strategically.
ITA Senior International Trade Specialist Joanne Littlefair served as lead author on the Top Markets Building Products and Sustainable Construction Report.

For additional information regarding the report, or to provide feedback, contact Joanne.Littlefair(at)