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Industry Focuses on Trump Presidency

Monday, November 14, 2016

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U.S. builders and architects are putting the contentious election behind them and focusing on the future and what they can expect from the mega-builder and developer turned President-elect Donald Trump and his administration.

Various reports have outlined what Trump’s Nov. 8 victory over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton might mean in terms of construction industry related spending, immigration policies and environmental regulations, and several industry groups have issued statements in the wake of the election results.

A. Shaker / VOA, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

On the campaign trail, President-elect Donald Trump pledged that if elected, he would spend $1 trillion on a variety of infrastructure projects.

“We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools and hospitals,” Trump said in a post-election speech early Wednesday (Nov. 9). “We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.”

On the campaign trail, the Republican pledged that if elected, he would spend $1 trillion on a variety of infrastructure projects. For example, in his plan for the first 100 days in office, Trump said he would work with Congress to introduce legislation to fund the construction of a wall at the Southern border of the U.S. (with a provision that Mexico would reimburse the U.S.).

The election results actually drove a rally in construction-related stocks Wednesday, according to The Wall Street Journal, despite concerns regarding specific funding plans and priorities.

Industry at the Ready

The American Institute of Architects chief executive officer Robert Ivy said the organization’s 89,000 members are “committed to working with President-elect Trump to address the issues our country faces, particularly strengthening the nation’s aging infrastructure.”

Ivy says the AIA stands ready to work with him and the incoming 115th Congress to ensure investments in schools, hospitals and other public infrastructure is a major priority.

White House
© / nojustice

Analysts expect Trump could repeal a number of regulatory measures put in place by the Obama administration, including the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule.

Further, Ivy notes that the group will work toward enhancing the design and construction sector’s role as a major catalyst for job creation throughout the American economy.

The National Roofing Contractors Association issued a statement Nov. 10, saying, "We congratulate President-elect Donald Trump and all winning candidates on their victories and look forward to working with the incoming Trump administration and new and returning lawmakers to advance NRCA's policy agenda. This includes pro-growth tax policies, relief from burdensome regulations, legislation that addresses the workforce needs of our industry, and replacement of the Affordable Care Act with market-based reforms to our health care system."

Associated Builders and Contractors Response

Officials from the Associated Builders and Contractors also said they looked forward to working with the President-elect and Vice President-elect Mike Pence to “craft policies rooted in free enterprise that will encourage open competition and result in greater business investment and more construction jobs.”

ABC CEO Michael Bellaman
Associated Builders and Contractors

Associated Builders and Contractors President and CEO Michael Bellaman said Trump  "is very familiar with obstacles to economic growth ABC members face."

ABC President and CEO Michael Bellaman said, “With his background in real estate and development, Trump is very familiar with obstacles to economic growth ABC members face, including our broken regulatory system, the increasingly difficult challenge of finding affordable health care coverage for employees, a growing shortage of appropriately skilled labor and the highest effective tax rate of any industry.”

“We are hopeful that Trump will select judicial nominees that respect the traditional principles of separation of powers, and we urge his administration to implement policies that guarantee a fair and level playing field for all contractors, regardless of labor affiliation, such as prohibiting the government from mandating discriminatory project labor agreements.”

'Blacklist' Future Questioned

ABC filed suit in October to block the Obama Administration's Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule, nicknamed the "blacklist rule" by critics, which would subject federal contractors seeking jobs worth $500,000 or more to increased scrutiny regarding labor and safety violations. Some experts believe Trump is likely to repeal the rule, which was at least temporarily blocked by an injunction from a federal judge last month.

It is "fair to assume that Trump will be inclined to repeal a host of executive orders supporting unions at the expense of federal contracts, including the so-called ‘blacklisting’ order and other provisions that impose contractual obligations on successor employers doing business with the federal government,” labor attorney Steve Bernstein told Employee Benefit News.

A similar rule was imposed on federal contractors by President Bill Clinton in 2000 but repealed in 2001 by President George W. Bush.

Also up for possible repeal, according to analysts, are: the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's pending electronic reporting rule; OSHA's planned annual fine increases; and the controversial new overtime rule.

For more discussion of policies and statements from others in the construction industry, see Engineering News Record’s report “Trump’s Big Win: Less Regulation, More Infrastructure.”


Tagged categories: Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. (ABC); Economy; Good Technical Practice; Government; National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA); North America; OSHA; Regulations

Comment from Andrew Piedl, (11/14/2016, 11:03 AM)

I disagree with the 'mega-builder' DESCRIPTION: "Trump himself has built few buildings in the past two decades. Instead, developers who want to use his name pay him a licensing fee." Quoted from this article:

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