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Senator Collins Meets with Maine Members of the National Association of Home Builders



Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins met with Maine members of the National Association of Home Builders.  They discussed lumber and steel and aluminum trade issues, rising energy prices, supply chain challenges, and job training programs.  Participants included Mark Patterson of Patco Construction in Sanford, Howard ‘Chip’ Hall of Cottage Advisors in Kennebunk; Jason Labonte of Home Innovations in Saco, and Melanie Merz of Home Builders and Remodelers of Maine.


“Maine’s home builders maintain a close working relationship with our state’s forest products sector, and they have a vested interest in keeping this historic industry strong,” said Senator Collins.  “During our meeting, we discussed some of the most pressing issues facing our state’s lumber industry—such as supply chain disruptions and workforce shortages—which are vital to resolve in order to help meet the strong demand for housing.  I look forward to continuing to be a partner on issues to support this resilient industry and its talented employees.”


Senator Collins has advocated for a new softwood lumber agreement with Canada to bring predictability and stability to this market.  At a Commerce Appropriations Subcommittee hearing in April 2021, Senator Collins strongly encouraged U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to push back against these harmful retaliatory tariffs.


In 2020, Senator Collins and Representative Jared Golden (D-ME) introduced the Loggers Relief Act to establish a new USDA program to provide direct payments to loggers who have been seriously impacted by the pandemic.  Senator Collins, a lead negotiator of the COVID-19 relief bill that was signed into law in December 2020, successfully secured the inclusion of the Loggers Relief Act and $200 million in funding in the final package.  More than 350 Maine timber harvesting and hauling businesses were approved for a total of $12.3 million in COVID-19 relief.



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