September 2005

Establishing an international presence | As I was saying ...

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Establishing an international presence

by Bill Good
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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 involvement.

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.

A fair question is: Why?

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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