The recent bipartisan infrastructure bill was a huge victory for the trucking industry. The bill authorized $347.5 billion in highway funding and another $37 billion for bridges.
These projects will make it safer for truck drivers who haul freight every day across our aging infrastructure. And hopefully, some wider roads and new roadways will make it less likely that our nation’s truckers will get stuck in traffic with no pay.
US Steel for US Projects
When the massive infrastructure bill passed in last November, there were a lot of line items and aspects to discuss and comb over for industry leaders, journalists, and onlookers. One requirement that stands out today is the fact that no funds provided to federal agencies for infrastructure may be spent “unless all of the iron, steel, manufactured products, and construction materials used in the project are produced in the United States.”
This requirement goes into effect on May 14th and is the subject of a recently-released guidance from the federal government.
The goal of this requirement is to boost US manufacturing, which may also see an increase in freight and jobs for truck drivers.
The requirement for US materials being used for infrastructure is not, however, iron-clad. There are three possible reasons that a waiver may be granted for construction using non-US materials:
- If the use of certain US supplies is “inconsistent with the public interest”.
- If the required materials for a project aren’t produced in enough quality or quantity.
- If the use of US materials would increase a project’s budget by 25% or more.
Assuming US manufacturing and production can ramp up and do so safely, then US industry is looking at a boon from the infrastructure bill. And hopefully trucking will see a benefit as a result.