Donald J. Trump is being inaugurated this morning as the 45th president of the United States of America. And before you close your browser and think this is just another one of those annoying political posts, don't fear. We know that Trump is a polarizing figure for people on both sides of the political aisle, and at K&J Trucking, we don't want to get into all that, we just want to talk about OTR drivers. So, love him or hate him, here are 5 ways we believe President Trump will affect the trucking industry.
1. Better Roads, More Construction
If Trump's campaign promises hold true, we can expect improvements in the transportation infrastructure. During his campaign he made it clear that he wouldn't take the nation into debt to pay for these projects, but he was committed to making significant improvements.
2. New Trucking Regulations on Hold
We fully expect that President Trump will most likely hold off on implementing new regulations in the industry, mostly because with the repeal of the ACA (Obamacare), he has much bigger fish to fry. Regulations that affect road safety will likely be implemented after further review, but those that inhibit the ability to compete or be efficient in the trucking industry will likely head to the scrap pile. And while it isn't a popular piece of legislation, it is likely that the electronic log device mandate starting in December 2017 will continue as it is a safety rule and does not implement any new standards, just new reporting.
3. Beneficial Tax Code Changes
Tax code changes are expected from President Trump and these changes could greatly benefit family-owned trucking carriers like K&J Trucking. The hope is that these tax breaks could help companies reinvest in their industry and drivers, enabling continued innovation and growth which can only benefit OTR drivers.
4. Speed Limiters Unlikely
Proposed speed limiting regulations put forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are likely to be put on hold or defeated. Trump publicly stated during candidacy that he was against over-regulation on a national level. And with so many questions as to how speed limiters would affect road safety, it seems unlikely that President Trump would choose to implement this controversial legislation.
5. Positive Economic Growth
One of the biggest hopes many have is that President Trump's administration will be good for the overall US economy and improve economic growth and consumer spending, which directly affects the trucking industry. At this point, most analysts believe that Trump will be good for the economy; but with trade agreements like NAFTA hanging in the balance, there is some uncertainty as to how that could affect imports and exports, which does affect trucking. However, with lower oil and gas prices, we believe that trucking should still come out on top and see growth this year.
The Bottom Line
Because Trump plans to repair the road infrastructure and thus far hasn't committed to a shift to rail freight, things are looking great for the trucking industry. Trump's anti-regulatory stance and desire to lower fuel costs also benefits drivers and trucking companies. With Trump's hard-line stance on trade, products coming into the US should be higher quality which would strengthen the import business, but his aggressive policies could also spell trouble for trade agreements with other countries. If that were to happen trucking to and from ports could be negatively affected. We believe there are a lot of great reasons to have hope that this will be a banner year for the industry.
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