Sunday, January 29, 2017

Is President Trump Putting Construction Trades Back To Work?

Among the early Trump administration executive orders last week were documents reinitiating the approval process for construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, and a verbal promise to reduce business regulations by 75% to incentivize factory construction in the U.S. Laborers International General President Terry O’Sullivan says pipeline unions have $50 billion of work under contract. North American Building Trades Unions President Sean McGarvey says energy projects currently employ 32% of the U. S. construction industry workforce.

At the same time, it appears the Trump administration is preparing executive orders intended to reduce the influence of organized labor in the construction industry by rescinding Clinton and Obama administration executive orders favoring project labor agreements on major federally funded construction projects. Watch for more news on this front in the coming weeks.

Last week Senate democrats introduced legislation proposing the Trump campaign’s promised $1 trillion infrastructure investment over the next 10 years, including $210 billion for roads and bridges, $200 billion for funding other national transportation projects, $110 billion for water and sewer infrastructure construction, and $100 million for energy infrastructure. Trump administration spokesmen would not comment on the proposal, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell immediately told reporters he doesn’t want in infrastructure construction stimulus plan.

McConnell said he is waiting for a Trump administration proposal that pays for infrastructure projects “in a credible way.” Assistant Republican Leader Senator John Cornyn echoed McConnell’s sentiment, saying, “It needs to be paid for because we’ve got $20 trillion in debt.” President Trump himself earlier commented that putting people to work building infrastructure is “not a very Republican thing. I didn’t even know that, frankly,” and that infrastructure won’t be a core part of the first few years of his administration.

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