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Builders renew plea for Trump to level federal contract field, sans PLA mandates

Sources: Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC), Washington, D.C.; CP staff

ABC and a coalition of construction and business associations continue to urge President Donald Trump to eliminate government-mandated project labor agreements (PLA) on federal and federally assisted projects.

A letter to the White House is the groups’ latest appeal to President Trump to a) rescind his predecessor’s Executive Order 13502, which encourages federal agencies to require PLA on federal contracts to build projects of $25 million or more on a case-by-case basis; and, b) replace it with Executive Orders 13202 and 13208, which prohibit such agreements from being required on federal and federally assisted construction projects. The coalition calls for “regulatory reform to create a level playing field in the procurement of government construction contracts, increase competition, help small businesses grow, curb construction costs and spread the job-creating benefits of federally funded contracts throughout the entire construction industry.”

“The industry faces a skilled labor shortage of almost 500,000 people. If [it] grows at a modest two to three percent rate over the next few years and an infrastructure bill resulting in an additional $1 trillion worth of construction is added into the equation, the industry could need to fill an additional one million more jobs as early as 2020,” the coalition contends. “Therefore, it makes little sense to continue a policy that artificially restricts the vast majority of skilled American labor and qualified contractors from competing to deliver to taxpayers the best possible product at the best possible price.”

“If the Trump Administration creates an inclusive policy so all Americans and all qualified companies can make America’s infrastructure great again, it would be a win-win for taxpayers and the U.S. economy,” affirms ABC Vice President of Regulatory, Labor and State Affairs Ben Brubeck.

 

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