In 2003, about 20% of the cement used in the U.S. came from imports. Strong demand from China, which produces and uses more than 40% of the world’s cement, has monopolized the ships needed to carry products to the U.S., and that has led to tight cement supplies in some areas of the country.
Mexico is the most logical source of supplementary imports. A cement shipment from Asia takes 44 days on average to arrive at a U.S. port, compared to a delivery from Mexico, which can be made in only four days. However, an anti-dumping duty of $57 per ton makes Mexican cement financially infeasible.
Cement is the key ingredient in concrete, and concrete is used for housing in everything from foundations, driveways and sidewalks to, in some cases, even full construction.
A report released this month by the Portland Cement Association has found evidence of cement shortages in 23 states.
“U.S. consumers of cement need a reliable, efficient source of supply for that portion of the U.S. market that must be met by imports. Mexico can meet much of that demand if allowed to do so,” said Rayburn.
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