Competing materials industries, including steel and concrete, are arguing that Congress should not support research and development funding for new and innovative mass timber construction (even though funding would come from many existing programs), because it would mean Congress was picking winners and losers. Ironically, Congress has always supported basic research and development for many industries with the concrete and steel receiving millions of dollars in federal funding over the past several years.
Are winners and losers only acceptable as long as CONCRETE AND STEEL are the winners?
Concrete Industry Federal Grants/Funds Received from FY 2008 to 2016*:
Total Number of Concrete Industry Grants Awarded: 232
Total Prime Recipient Transaction Amount: $36,745,776
Steel Industry Federal Grants/Funds Received from 2008 to 2016**:
Total Number of Steel Industry Grants Awarded: 285
Total Prime Recipient Transaction Amount: $72,587,411
Industries can't have it both ways – either all industries receive basic R&D support or none do. That is the truly level playing field for ALL industries. A "winners and losers" argument falls on its face when one industry complains about industries (other than their own) receiving federal funding, while they (at the same time) have been receiving similar funding for decades.
Know the facts.
* www.usaspending.gov. Search terms: Spending Type="Grants"; Keyword="concrete"; non-profit or higher education recipient
** www.usaspending.gov. Search terms: Spending Type="Grants"; Keyword="steel"; non-profit or higher education recipient