Trucking is responsible for over 70% of transport for goods in the US.
Such impressive numbers make it the very backbone of the US economy. It’s also a hot topic for President-Elected Biden on what route the industry should take in 2021.
It’s important to note that 2020 saw the economy shaken to its core and the logistics industry faces immense challenges.
The question now on many people’s minds is what it means. Is Joe Biden ready to listen to the issues affecting the trucking industry?
Are they able to keep up with all the promises made during the campaigns and presidential debates?
From the presidential debates, it’s no secret that the two candidates don’t see eye to eye on many issues affecting the industry. They defer on big issues that can immensely impact the industry.
Tax Breaks/Cuts for the Trucking Industry
One prominent area they defer is on matters of taxation. This comes as little surprise to the logistics industry as a whole.
The economy requires a lot of work to get back on track. It’s been ravaged by the pandemic and protests that plagues the country in 2020.
Recovering as a country is the main issue that the new president will have to face come in 2021.
The democrats are highly recommending a repeal of all administrative tax breaks. This includes adding estate tax and reversing corporate tax.
Labor Laws Changes in the US
Labor laws are always a hot issue when it comes to the US elections. The democrats believe that the minimum wage should be increased to $15/hour.
Additionally, there’s a proposal for a 3-months leave for all employees who face health challenges, including the birth of a child. Such changes are bound to impact the trucking industry.
The democrats are also proposing the adoption of the PRO (Protecting the Right to Organize) Act. This Act passed in the House in February 2020 and gives employees a chance to engage in union representation in the US.
Apart from taxes and labor law, another area of concern for the trucking industry is infrastructure development in the US.
Infrastructure Development in the US
This is yet another hot topic that concerns the trucking industry, and both sides differ heavily on it.
The US’s current state of infrastructure is deplorable, with many truckers complaining about poor roads and bridges across the 50 states. Even though both Democrats and Republicans agree that the issue must be addressed, they differ on the cause of action.
Back when President Trump was new to office, he proposed an overhaul in infrastructure with a $2 trillion plan that gained no momentum. Both sides saw it as not the best solution for the current problem.
The democrats said it lacked a ‘Green’ initiative while Republicans claimed that was too high a price to pay.
Today, the same matter plagues both parties with a new proposal from Democrats that continues to elicit mixed feelings.
When the infrastructure plan was tabled, it gained momentum, especially with support from the trucking industry. The INVEST in America plan would cost $494 billion to help mend the infrastructure across the US.
Most saw this as a great initiative until its amendment and loss of most of its initial support. The amendment called for the trucking industry to raise its financial responsibility to $2 million from the current $750000—the matter folded at a total of $1.5 million under the Moving America Forward Act.
An announcement by President Trump on an infrastructure proposal that’d cost $1 trillion followed suit. But, there’s been no progress so far to present this proposal to Congress.
Still, the trucking industry points out that with a stimulus package on the way, there’s little hope for an Infrastructure bill before the general elections.
The Trucking Industry Come 2021
Though the ATA (American Trucking Association) meeting with President Trump in 2017 was fruitful, 2020 has been challenging. The ATA believed the president would speed up infrastructure investment in the US.
This is in large part due to reforming NEPA (National Environment Policy Act) through his directive.
As there’s no end in sight for the pandemic, it might take a while before its business as usual in the logistics industry. Many companies are finding it challenging to stay afloat with more calls for changes in social behavior.
The industry is feeling the brunt of such measures as the country struggles to flatten the curve.
A Biden presidency may not offer any real change if the pandemic rages on. The main issue remains to find ways to reduce rates of infection.
That means President-Elected Biden must find ways to safeguard the American people by implementing measures that might limit the trucking industry more.
Even after businesses manage to get back, it’ll take time to recover. The dent the pandemic has left on the trucking industry is one that’ll take time to repair and bring the industry back to life.