Postcard #1 from the American Trucking Association’s National Accounting and Finance Council’s Annual Conference – Breakfast Address by President Chris Spear

Tuesday morning’s conference began with a breakfast address by Chris Spear, the President and CEO of the American Trucking Association (ATA). He provided a quick recap of the current state of relations between the organization and political leaders in Washington D.C. His update included the recent negotiations between Congress and the President regarding infrastructure funding, and he remained optimistic that a deal could be reached even after the latest breakdown in negotiations.

Mr. Spear also discussed the need for dedicated funding for infrastructure spending and detailed the ATA’s recent proposal, the Build America Fund. This proposal calls for the adoption of a 20-cent-per-gallon fee on motor fuels, which would be phased in over four years at 5 cents per year. According to the ATA, this proposal would generate about $340 billion over the next ten years.

Mr. Spear also covered several other topics, including the driver shortage, the implications of the restriction barring drivers under the age of 21 from hauling interstate loads, and congestion on the highway system.  

The day after Mr. Spear spoke at the NAFC conference, he testified to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, stating the following:

“ATA pledges to help this subcommittee write legislation that takes into consideration the state and future of the trucking industry, looking beyond the hood – 5, 10, 15 years out – and how we can improve safety through innovation; how we can grow a diverse, well-trained workforce that shores up the very real and well-documented shortage of talent; how trucking can generate and invest real money into our decaying infrastructure; and, how trucking can help you shape free and fair trade agreements that make the United States the strongest economy in the world.”

Mr. Spear is a dynamic, knowledgeable speaker and it is always enlightening to hear him discuss current topics in the transportation industry.

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