NAM Urges Congress to Fund Transportation, Reauthorize EXIM - Global Trade Magazine
  November 19th, 2015 | Written by

NAM Urges Congress to Fund Transportation, Reauthorize EXIM

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  • NAM urges conferees “to robustly fund the final legislation above current baseline spending.”
  • NAM: shorter inflation-adjusted transportation funding bill better than six year flat-funded measure.
  • NAM supports provision in House bill which would preempt state laws on trucking standards.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) sent a letter earlier this week to members of Congress serving on a House-Senate conference committee, urging them to authorize surface transportation legislation and reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.

Updates to transportation infrastructure are necessary for U.S. manufacturers to compete and create jobs, the letter, which was signed by NAM vice presidents Rosario Palmieri and Linda Dempsey, noted.

Both houses of Congress have already approved identical legislation by substantial margins with regard to the renewal of EXIM. That agency’s charter expired on June 30 after Congress failed to reauthorize it.

“Manufacturers especially appreciate the funding levels provided by the Senate and urge conferees to robustly fund the final legislation above current baseline spending,” the letter said, with respect to the transportation legislation. “A reauthorization bill that is shorter than six years, but accounts for inflation and other adjustments through higher funding levels would be superior to a flat-funded measure over six years.”

NAM also supports the port performance provision in the Senate version of the legislation. “Collecting basic, uniform port performance data is an essential step in ensuring that we have a ports that are equipped to handle future economic growth and increased trade,” said the letter. “Manufacturers rely on the nation’s ports to move commerce and reach 95 percent of the world’s customers outside the U.S.”

NAM also supports a provision in the House bill which would preempt state laws with regard to trucking standards.

“The ultimate goal of this conference committee is to ensure the core responsibilities of our interstate highways and transit systems are being met by federal, state and private partners,” said the letter. “Funding levels that go above our current commitments would go a long way to avoid further uncertainty and ensure states have the ability to undertake multi-year and complex transportation investments such as new bridge replacements, improved interchanges, transit upgrades and additional capacity to relieve congestion that chokes our roads.”