Associated Builders and Contractors, Washington, D.C., outlines member-friendly, 2017-2020 advocacy and policy measures in its endorsement of President Donald Trump for election to a second term. Members applaud his administration’s substantial deregulatory efforts, especially after eight years of uncertainty spurred by the predecessor administration’s aggressive, burdensome and litigation-prone rulemaking.
ABC CEO Michael Bellaman and 2020 National Chair Tim Keating (R. C. Stevens Construction Co., Winter Garden, Fla.) write in a letter to 1600 Pennsylvania: “Your continued support for fair and open competition, job creation, small businesses and expanded workforce development initiatives during your first term have helped ABC members grow their businesses, upskill their workforce and create career enhancing jobs. Your promise to veto the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, legislation that will overturn freedom of choice in all existing right-to work states, take away a worker’s right to a secret ballot and eliminate the ability for workers to pursue independent contracting opportunities, assures us you will protect the merit shop construction industry and small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy … [The PRO Act] attempts to implement labor law policies that were rejected by the judicial system, opposed on a bipartisan basis in Congress and/or abandoned by the agencies asked to enforce them.”
“ABC looks forward to continuing our work with your administration on the issues critical to our industry, including establishing fair and open competition and creating the conditions for every individual to be safe and healthy and achieve their career dreams in the construction industry and the communities in which they live and work.”
Bellaman and Keating also cite how the Trump administration has supported workforce development by establishing the National Council for the American Worker, launching the Pledge to America’s Workers, and signing the FIRST STEP Act, “the most meaningful criminal justice reform in a generation.” Among construction market catalysts in another major piece of legislation, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, is the creation of state and local agency-designated Opportunity Zones, where development interests realize tax incentives for investing in projects revitalizing urban areas and beyond.
ABC credits TCJA with bringing relief to construction, noting how builders and contractors have historically paid the highest effective federal tax rate of any industry in the U.S. economy. Reform lowered ABC members’ pass-through income tax by 10 points and doubled the estate tax exemption. “Tax reform, combined with historic regulatory reform, as well as your cabinet, National Labor Relations Board and judicial appointments, have given employers the confidence and the capital to reinvest in their businesses and their people and create millions of new jobs,” Bellaman and Keating tell President Trump.
“On behalf of a national construction industry trade association with 69 chapters representing more than 21,000 members, ABC is proud to endorse your reelection as president of the United States of America,” they conclude. “ABC looks forward to continuing our work with your administration on the issues critical to our industry, including establishing fair and open competition and creating the conditions for every individual to be safe and healthy and achieve their career dreams in the construction industry and the communities in which they live and work.”