By Jill Ralph. Signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU), the Bush Administration and the NAHB have joined forces to help encourage and support the growth of United States exports in the building industry sector. Linda Conlin, assistant secretary of commerce for trade development, and Gary Garczynski, president of the NAHB, signed the MOU in January at the International Builders' Show.

The public-private partnership is a way for the Commerce Department and the NAHB to clear the way for builders to enter the "international scene." By combining resources, the two forces want to create opportunities for builders by promoting U.S. building materials, housing, and home construction technologies. "By working together, we will be able to help the building industry sector increase exports to global markets," said Conlin.

The MOU hopes to establish a framework from which conferences, exhibitions, seminars, site visits, trade missions, and other related trade events can be held around the world. The first conference, funded by the NAHB, will be held in October in Mexico City. It will include programs for building industry officials and a pavilion showcasing U.S. goods.

Both the NAHB and the Commerce Department remain optimistic about the potential of the Memorandum for the home building industry both domestically and internationally.