The Trump Effect on Construction
Within ten days of assuming office, President Trump signed Executive Order 13771, which dictates that all agencies are to repeal at least two existing regulations for each new regulation issued in 2017 and forthcoming. In the Executive Order, issued on January 30, 2017, President Trump elaborated on the need to eliminate several rules through the Congressional Review Act (CRA). These CRAs removed regulations issued by the Obama administration that would have created unnecessary encumbrances on the construction industry, according to Construction Executive.1 Within ten days of assuming office, President Trump signed Executive Order 13771, which dictates that all agencies are to repeal at least two existing regulations for each new regulation issued in 2017 and forthcoming. In the Executive Order, issued on January 30, 2017, President Trump elaborated on the need to eliminate several rules through the Congressional Review Act (CRA)3. These CRAs removed regulations issued by the Obama administration that would have created unnecessary encumbrances on the construction industry, according to Construction Executive.
Furthermore, President Trump has intentions to bring back jobs to the United States by withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and renegotiating NAFTA. The Trump administration is taking valuable steps to address the skills gap and fill five hundred thousand existing jobs in the construction industry. According to the President’s Executive Order on June 15, 2017, Trump is working to provide jobs to Americans by expanding apprenticeships and reforming workforce development programs that will enable more citizens to acquire relevant skills and high-paying jobs.
“I am really encouraged by the President’s Executive Order on Apprenticeship and its potential to improve the network of available and relevant career training and career paths,” says Mike Holland, Chief Operating Officer at MAREK. “This, in combination with the right immigration reform, can put the construction industry back in the workforce business, and create significant opportunities for ABC members and chapters.”
The President’s stance on immigration, including his goal to build a wall on the southern border, could further exacerbate labor issues in the construction industry2, according to Building Solutions. For years, the industry has weighed heavily toward foreign-born employees, and putting a strain on immigrants could create potential labor issues.
“The heightened focus on illegal or undocumented immigration has unfortunately suppressed the dialogue that is needed to address both our national gap in finding qualified skilled labor as well as the incredibly broken legal immigration process that encourages people to take the risk of entering the U.S. illegally,” says Darlene East, President of Holes Incorporated. “The worker and skills shortages are absolutely present in the trades and we need a national dialogue that includes not only provisions for adequate, skilled blue-collar trades, but also addresses how to adjust our education resources in order to begin not only teaching the skills of the trades, but also educating the next generation that a career in the trades is both honorable as well as financially rewarding.”
“We are way past due for a comprehensive reform of our system,” says Holland. “We need to address those illegal immigrants currently in the country, and determine some mechanism for legal working status for those meeting certain criteria such as background checks. Border security and utilizing a tamper-proof identification will allow employers to verify who is legally eligible to work in the U.S.”
The need to verify that employees are legally authorized to work in the United States is critically important to the safety of the workforce. With tremendous efforts by Republicans who occupy both the legislative and executive branches of government, and in addition to the current administration’s endeavors to strengthen the economy in 2017, the year ahead appears evident to build positive economic growth both for ABC member contractors and the construction industry.
1. Mannion, Brad. January 11, 2018. Year in Review: Trump and Congress Pave Road to Growth for 2018. Construction Executive. Retrieved from http://constructionexec.com/article/year-in-review-trump-and-congress-pave-road-to-growth-for-2018
2. Cavalcante, Carolina. February 14, 2018. How Will Trump Affect the Construction Industry? Building Solutions. Retrieved from https://www.buildingsolutions.com/industry-insights/how-will-trump-affect-the-construction-industry
3. The White House. January 30, 2017. Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs. Retrieved from https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/presidential-executive-order-reducing-regulation-controlling-regulatory-costs/
4. The White House. June, 15, 2017. Presidential Executive Order Expanding Apprenticeships in America. Retrieved from https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/3245/