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President’s Much-Needed Infrastructure Investments Are Likely To Be Undermined By Proposal’s Misguided Labor And Tax Proposals

March 31, 2021

President Biden is Right to Focus on Improving a Broad Range of Infrastructure Projects, But Taxing Employers and Imposing Draconian New Labor Rules will Undermine Economic Growth

The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement in reaction to the unveiling today of President Biden’s new infrastructure proposal as well as related plans to raise taxes and impose new regulatory and labor requirements on employers:

“We greet the President’s new infrastructure proposal with mixed emotions. On one hand, the President is right to focus on rebuilding a broad range of aging and overburdened infrastructure and modernizing buildings. These investments will create a significant number of new construction career opportunities that traditionally pay well above jobs in other industries. Unfortunately, the President seeks to saddle these new investments with a host of labor and regulatory measures that will hurt workers and offset many of the economic benefits of these new infrastructure investments.

“For example, by seeking to couple his new infrastructure proposal with the dangerous PRO Act, the President is signaling that infrastructure investments must come at the expense of labor harmony and economic certainty. That is because the PRO Act will give organized labor unprecedented abilities to disrupt all manner of economic activities, at any time, to meet their broader objectives. His justification for seeking to impose the labor measures in this proposal, that construction workers have been traditionally underpaid, is clearly wrong as even a cursory check of data tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics would have confirmed.

“The President’s proposal to finance the new investments primarily via an increase in the corporate tax rate will likely undermine many of its economic benefits. That is because these new tax hikes will limit the ability of many employers to invest in capital improvement that will provide additional career opportunities for construction workers. The tax hikes will also undermine firms’ ability to investment in new equipment and technology and will limit America’s global competitiveness.

“The most important aspect of the President’s proposal is that it once again serves as a reminder that we need to boost investments in our infrastructure. Our expectation is this proposal will prompt an important debate about the best way to make, and fund, those investments in a way that fully supports economic growth. We look forward to working with members of Congress in both parties to craft a bipartisan infrastructure proposal that will do as much to boost economic growth as it does to improve civil works and make our structures more efficient.”

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