Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org April 5, 2018
Spacer
AGC Home Page
Email our Editor
Search Back Issues
Forward to a Friend
Subscribe
Printer Friendly
AGC Political Toolkit
RSS
Take Action!
On the Inside
FEDERAL CONTRACTING
State and Cities Blacklisting Border Wall Contractors
TRADE
Various Construction-Related Products Targeted for Tariffs
Construction Industry to Bear the Brunt of Steel & Aluminum Tariffs
IMMIGRATION
FY 2018 Federal Funding Law Includes H-2B Visa Increase
TAX/ACCOUNTING
FY 2018 Federal Funding Law Expands Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
INFRASTRUCTURE
Trump Infrastructure Plan Architect Departing White House
UPCOMING AGC EVENTS
Register Now for the Federal Contractors Conference
Keep the Momentum Going on Infrastructure - TCC Fly-In May 15-16 Registration Open
Register Now for AGC’s Construction Environmental Conference
FEDERAL CONTRACTING
State and Cities Blacklisting Border Wall Contractors
Congress Urges DOJ to Act
 

On March 29, more than two dozen members of Congress called on the U.S. Department of Justice to take action against the discrimination (blacklisting) of private companies that work or supply services for the construction of the border wall.  Some two dozen cities and states have adopted or are considering legislation discriminating against companies—designers, prime contractors, subcontractors and suppliers—that work on or support construction of the border wall.  In some cases, legislation would bar the city or state from contracting with those firms entirely and require their public pension firms to divest from those companies. 

AGC has longed voiced its concern that, unless checked, these blacklisting efforts will embolden state and local officials to obstruct the federal government’s lawful functions whenever it may serve their narrow political interests.  Similarly, discriminatory measures could easily multiply, as state and local officials seek to advance their political careers at the expense of federal priorities.  Threatened by discrimination and without assurance that the DOJ will take a stand on such legislation, private companies will understandably hesitate to work in the federal marketplace.

To date, neither the Trump administration nor Congress has asserted the federal government’s constitutional prerogative to prohibit states or localities from thwarting this federal government national security initiative. This inaction not only undermines President Trump and Congress’s commitment to securing our borders, but also puts federal contractors at risk of unlawful discrimination.

For more information, contact Jordan Howard at Jordan.Howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368. Return to Top

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
TRADE
Various Construction-Related Products Targeted for Tariffs
Share Your Views on Items of Concern with AGC
 

On April 3, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office released a proposed list of 1,333 Chinese products subject to additional 25 percent tariffs. The list includes items that could negatively impact the American construction industry and includes but is not limited to: concrete or mortar mixers, electric signaling items for traffic or safety control, elevators and conveyors, various metal piping, tower cranes, tunneling machinery, and water pumps. AGC encourages contractors to review the list and share with AGC any items of particular concern. U.S. companies have until May 11 to comment on the proposed product list.  

Totaling $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, the target list is designed to close the United States’ $375 billion goods deficit with China and stems from a seven month-long Section 301 investigation into China’s state-directed practice of forced technology transfers and intellectual property theft. The U.S. tariff announcement came just one day after China announced its own tariffs on $3 billion worth of American goods, targeting 128 products (15 percent duty on 120 products including fruits, wine, nuts, and steel pipes; 20 percent duty on eight products including recycled aluminum and pork) in response to the steel and aluminum tariffs. On April 4, China retaliated once again, issuing its own additional 25 percent tariffs on a list of 106 American products valued at $50 billion.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has until August 18 to finalize the list, after which President Trump legally has 180 days to impose the finalized tariffs.

For more information, contact Collin Janich at collin.janich@agc.org or (703) 837-5435.  Return to Top

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
Construction Industry to Bear the Brunt of Steel & Aluminum Tariffs
Based on Two Reports from Groups Representing Varying Interests
 

A pair of competing reports measuring the potential impact of the Trump Administration’s steel and aluminum tariffs have reached a similar conclusion—the construction industry will bear the brunt of the metals tariffs. While employing different models and arriving at drastically different figures, the two reports similarly project that the tariffs will greatly and adversely impact construction employment, especially when compared with other industries.

A report by the Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA)a domestic agriculture, manufacturer and union coalition—estimates that the tariffs could jeopardize 10,635 jobs in the construction sector, while a report prepared for the Business Roundtable by the Trade Partnership Worldwide puts that figure at 66,022 construction jobs, the most of any sector except “trade and distribution” services.

Regardless of the precise figure, the steel and aluminum tariffs’ will thin out a construction workforce that is already experiencing worker shortages. AGC urges its members to continue to pressure their congressional representation—and the president—to end the steel and aluminum tariffs.

For more information, contact Collin Janich at collin.janich@agc.org or (703) 837-5435.  Return to Top

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
IMMIGRATION
FY 2018 Federal Funding Law Includes H-2B Visa Increase
 

The 2018 funding government funding bill included language that allows the Department of Homeland Security to work with the Department of Labor to increase the number of H-2B worker visas issued. The provision allows the agencies to determine if there is a need to increase the number of visas from 66,000 to up to 129,547. The H-2B program allows U.S. employers who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary (seasonal) nonagricultural jobs.

While the increase appears to be welcome relief, the language gives the Secretary of Homeland Security the ultimate discretion whether or not to increase the number of H-2B’s and to what level.  In 2017, Congress included the same language in that year’s spending bill, but the Department of Homeland Security ended up only issuing an additional 15,000 visas by the time the determination was made (following the summer season).  Employers eventually used 13,534 of the extra visas.  There have been no indications when Homeland Security will make their determinations this year.

For more information, contact Jim Young at youngj@agc.org or (202) 547-0133. Return to Top

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
TAX/ACCOUNTING
FY 2018 Federal Funding Law Expands Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
 

Included in the recently passed federal government funding law is a provision that expands the low-income housing tax credit.  Housing advocates expressed concern that the reduction of the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent – as a result of the recently passed tax reform law – reduced the value of the low-income housing tax credit for existing deals and “will require project developers to incur more permanent and/or defer larger amounts of developer fees,” according to Thomas Morton of Pillsbury law.

To alleviate these concerns, the federal funding law increases the tax credit allocation by 12.5 percent over the next four years, and adds a new income averaging test available for election after March 23, 2018.  Additional information is available in this summary of the provision from Ernst & Young.

For more information, contact Matt Turkstra at (202) 547-4733, or matt.turkstra@agc.org. Return to Top

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
INFRASTRUCTURE
Trump Infrastructure Plan Architect Departing White House
 

D.J. Gribbin, the White House policy advisor who drafted the administration’s infrastructure plan, has announced his departure. Gribbin has a long list of experience in the infrastructure field including having served as the Department of Transportation’s general counsel and Federal Highway Administration chief counsel under President George W. Bush, as well as having worked at Macquarie Capital, a firm where he led efforts on public-private partnerships.

For more information, contact Brian Deery at deeryb@agc.org or (703) 837-5319. Return to Top

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
UPCOMING AGC EVENTS
Register Now for the Federal Contractors Conference
Early Bird Discount Ends Soon
 

Register today for the 2018 AGC Federal Contractors Conference. This discount offer ends February 19th and space is limited. The Federal Contractors Conference is the premier conference for federal construction contractors to discuss the latest projects, policies and contracting issues facing the industry with federal agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Naval Facility Engineering Command, Air Force Civil Engineer Center, General Services Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of State, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Bureau of Reclamation.

In addition to substantive discussions and presentations with federal agencies, attendees will hear from legal experts about the latest federal regulations that will impact their businesses and may have the opportunity to continue a dialogue with federal agencies after the conference. Leading federal construction attorneys will address executive orders, Small Business Administration and Federal Acquisition Regulation rules, and case law trends your company needs to know to work in the federal market. And, when the conference concludes, AGC member attendees will have the opportunity to participate in ongoing dialogue and meetings with agency headquarters later in the year.

For more information and to register, go to http://meetings.agc.org/fedcon/registration/ Return to Top

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
Keep the Momentum Going on Infrastructure - TCC Fly-In May 15-16 Registration Open
Hotel Deadline April 20 – Few Rooms Left
 

The 17th Annual Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) Legislative Fly-In, scheduled for May 15-16, 2018, is well-timed to discuss with your senators and representative the need for infrastructure investment and fixing the Highway Trust Fund.  With the Trump Administration infrastructure plan on the table and Congressional committees holding hearings, now is the time to push your congressional delegation to keep the momentum going. Registration is now open.

AGC has scheduled meetings with Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) representatives on Tuesday (May 15) morning followed by a special Washington briefing luncheon. At the TCC legislative briefing key Congressional and Administration leaders will give their outlook for accomplishing an infrastructure investment measure this Congress. You will receive educational briefing materials on key industry priorities for your use in meeting with your congressional delegation. The Fly-In's reception will also provide you an opportunity to network with your industry peers and members of Congress and their staff. The schedule is as follows:

Tuesday- May 15, 2018

9:30 AM – 11:00 AM         

AGC-FHWA Meeting

11:00 AM – 2:00 PM       

AGC Washington Issues Briefing (Lunch Included)

2:30 PM – 5:00 PM         

TCC Legislative Briefing

6:00 PM                         

TCC Capitol Hill reception

Wednesday- May 16, 2018

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM    

Hill Visits


For more information, contact Brian Deery at
deeryb@agc.org or (703) 837-5319. Return to Top

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
Register Now for AGC’s Construction Environmental Conference
Join us September 12-13 in Crystal City, Virginia
 

AGC’s Construction Environmental Conference is the nation’s foremost annual conference to address the most critical environmental compliance and risk issues impacting the business of construction.  Whether your goal is maintaining an excellent compliance record, keeping abreast of key developments and trends, or simply gaining a greater perspective on how environmental issues affect your job responsibilities or your projects —AGC’s CEC is the conference for you.  Registration is open, so reserve your seat for the 2018 CEC returning to the DoubleTree by Hilton in Crystal City, Virginia, on September 12-13. Register Now!

Sponsorship Opportunities - AGC makes available a wide range of sponsorship opportunities to showcase your company’s support of important educational events.  Thank you: Dominion Due Diligence Group, Kiewit Corp, Lane Construction, and Zurich for signing up early to support the 2018 event!  Check out the sponsorship flyer or contact Cheyenne Brewbaker for more information: Cheyenne.brewbaker@agc.org.

If you have questions about AGC’s 2018 CEC, please contact Melinda Tomaino at tomainom@agc.org Return to Top

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook

AGC Townhouse, 53 D Street SE • Washington, DC 20003 • 202.547.1625 (phone) • 202.547.1635 (fax)• www.agc.org
AGC Home | About AGC | Advocacy | Industry Topics | Construction Markets | Programs & Events | Career Development | News & Media

To ensure delivery of AGC’s Construction Legislative Week in Review, please add 'communications@agc.org' to your email address book or Safe Sender List. If you are still having problems receiving our communications, visit our white-listing page for more details.

© Copyright The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America. All Rights Reserved.