Utility

January 16, 2020

On Jan. 15, the United States and China signed a modest ‘phase one’ trade agreement, signaling a major first step towards defusing tension in the trade war between the two nations. Under this initial agreement, the Trump administration will reduce the existing tariff rate on $120 billion worth of import goods from China, in addition to upholding its commitment to not impose further tariffs on Chinese goods. Although the agreement rolled back some of the import duties imposed on China, steep tariffs on $250 billion of goods remain.

January 16, 2020

On Jan. 16, the Senate overwhelmingly passed (89-10) H.R. 5430, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act (USMCA). Senate passage of this legislation clears the way for U.S. ratification of the newly negotiated trade pact between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Once President Trump signs the deal into law, Canada’s ratification is the final step before full implementation of the agreement.

January 16, 2020

As the year 2019 and Member Lauren McFerran’s term were both about to expire, the National Labor Relations Board (the Board or NRLB) reversed several noteworthy actions taken by the agency during the Obama Administration. 

January 13, 2020

Trump Administration Proposal to Reform the Federal Environmental Review Process Will Fix Problems with Current Process While Maintaining Environmental Rigor, Construction Officials Say

The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement in reaction to the release today of the Administration’s Proposal to Reform the National Environmental Protection Act Permitting Process:

January 13, 2020

Changes Effective March 16, 2020

January 10, 2020

Survey Finds Optimism about 2020 along with Even Tighter Labor Supply as Construction Unemployment Sets Record December Low; Association Calls for Government to Boost Career Opportunities, Immigration

January 9, 2020

On Jan. 9, AGC urged members of the U.S. House of Representatives to oppose H.R.535, the PFAS Action Act of 2019. The bill, which is expected for a floor vote on Jan. 10, threatens to derail and overwhelm ongoing efforts at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to study PFAS and develop science-based, protective regulations for specific types of PFAS when warranted.

January 9, 2020

On Jan. 9, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) proposed important steps to streamline the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, which can be a circuitous, time-intensive, and costly environmental review step for many infrastructure projects.

January 9, 2020

On Dec. 20, President Trump signed two spending packages totaling $1.4 trillion, preventing another year-end government shutdown and providing annual funding to all agencies of the federal government through September 30, 2020. Overall, federal construction accounts saw about a nine percent increase—or $12.4 billion—in funding in comparison to FY2019 funding levels. A full AGC analysis of federal and federal-aid construction accounts for FY2020 can be found here. 

January 9, 2020

What’s old is new again at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as numerous district offices have recently expanded their use of fact-finding conferences. Fact-finding conferences are part of the EEOC’s expansive statutory investigation toolkit, but they are one of the lesser-known and perhaps lesser-used tools. The EEOC is authorized by federal law to utilize fact-finding conferences and may specifically require both parties to participate in order to define, resolve, and potentially settle any issues.

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