Liability and litigation are the biggest barriers overseas firms face in accessing the U.S. engineering and construction market that are not similarly faced by American firms seeking work abroad, says a survey by the Construction Industry Round Table, a McLean, Va., group of 100 CEOs of major U.S. firms. “The U.S. still owns the market in this,” said CIRT President Mark A. Casso at a meeting last month in Paris of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which is studying construction trade barriers among its European country members. The study found tax regulation is a barrier for U.S. firms
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.