At its most recent meeting, NRCA's International Relations
Committee struggled to define its—and, therefore,
NRCA's—objective in being involved with roofing industry
activities outside the U.S. The exercise was an important one
because it is tempting to rely on clichés ("the world is
getting smaller") to justify allocating resources to international
The committee arrived, ultimately, at an objective that
essentially says NRCA will establish an international presence
differently in different parts of the world, depending on local
circumstances. In other words, there will be no U.S. imperialism
but rather a genuine effort to become more engaged.
To begin, the array of issues that have international
implications truly is astounding, even for an industry as
fragmented and localized as ours tends to be. The shortages in 2004
of polyisocyanurate roof insulation directly were attributable to
Chinese demand for the chemical MDI, used in the manufacturing of
automobiles and athletic shoes, as well as roofing materials.
Capacity for manufacturing more MDI will improve when new chemical
plants are opened in the next two years …...
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