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Judging by the positive effect he and cabinet members have had on business beyond stock market metrics, President Donald Trump had cause to march toward his 100th day in office confident and content. Consider “Back to Basics,” a proclamation Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt outlined last month for a group of coal miners unaccustomed to friendly visits from White House representatives; or, House Joint Resolution 37, whereby President Trump and Capitol Hill allies have kneecapped aspects of Barack Obama’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, which stymies competition in federal project contracting.

Acquisitions and related corporate maneuvers in the domestic and global admixture, construction chemical and companion materials business parallel the 2015-16 realignment of major North American cement, aggregate and ready mixed concrete producers noted here in January (“Mergers, acquisitions, musical chairs define back-to-back watershed years”). Consider more than two years of activity just beyond the sphere of North American market leader BASF Construction Chemicals:

A late-January Associated Builders & Contractors study indicated how construction unemployment rates through the end of last year sustained a downward trend dating to 2010. “The ongoing year-over-year decline in the national unemployment rate is an indication of the health of the construction job market and its recovery from the deep recession,” explained economist Bernard Markstein, Ph.D., who analyzed U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics December 2016 data for ABC. “However, the shortage of skilled construction workers is hindering the ability of the sector to grow, with more than 80 percent of Associated Builders and Contractors members reporting a shortage of appropriately skilled labor.”

Budget hawks on Capitol Hill are scrutinizing wasteful mechanisms in surface transportation construction against the backdrop of President Donald Trump’s infrastructure investment plant. One of the easiest targets for stretching dollars from an expanded highway and bridge funding pool was noted here last month: A lifting of Barack Obama’s executive order fostering the use of wage-inflating project labor agreements on higher ticket federal construction contracts.

Seven 2015–2016 deals mark the latest turning point in North American cement production and a key downstream segment, pipe and precast. Incumbent operators streamlined or broadened their market footprints while a newcomer from Mexico saw opportunity north of the Rio Grande. Two cement players’ deals realigned market leadership in concrete pipe and precast.