Federal Contractor Report
March 2018
Federal Contractors Conference
May 1-3 in Pentagon City, VA

The difference between AGC’s Federal Contractors Conference and other federal construction meetings is that at AGC’s FedCon construction contractor attendees drive the agenda. For this year’s conference—held May 1-3 at the Ritz-Carlton in Pentagon City, VA—AGC is currently seeking your questions for consideration in meetings with headquarters leaders of the federal agencies.

Click on the agency to see our draft agendas for their session and send AGC your comments.

Army Corps of Engineers
Naval Facility Engineering Command
General Services Administration
Department of Veterans Affairs
Small Business Administration
Air Force Civil Engineer Center
Natural Resources Conservation Service
International Construction
Bureau of Reclamation

At AGC’s Federal Contractors Conference, construction contractor attendees lead the meetings and develop questions for federal agencies. There are robust discussions between attendees and federal agency representatives; not death by PowerPoint presentations.

In addition, learning about the latest projects and policies set to hit the street, AGC’s Federal Contractors Conference provides an opportunity to address problems the construction industry faces when working for USACE, including but not limited to: project delays, change orders, requests for equitable adjustments, claims, past performance evaluations and more.

To register for AGC’s FedCon, click here.
Federal Government
AGC Provides Helpful Tips for Contractors

On March 8, President Trump signed proclamations to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports, with limited exceptions. AGC previously urged the President to abandon the tariffs because of their negative impacts on the construction industry. AGC members are still encouraged to contact the president and their congressional representatives to stop these tariffs. In addition, AGC has provided two memos for construction contractors—one for direct federal and federally-assisted construction contracts and another for private construction contracts—as they grapple with anticipated steel and aluminum price increases.

These tariffs will have an almost immediate impact on the cost of aluminum and steel purchased for construction projects, as the construction industry consumes 43 percent of American steel according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. The proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum will also have a direct and negative impact on construction employment, putting more than 28,000 construction jobs at risk according to a recent, nonpartisan study. Alarmingly, this figure does not even account for jobs that could be impacted by affected nations’ retaliatory trade measures. AGC will continue to press the White House and Congress to stop these tariffs.

For more information, email or call Collin Janich at (703) 837-5435.
Senate Democrats Release Updated Infrastructure Proposal

Last week, AGC and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) led a two-day infrastructure lobbying push on Capitol Hill attending nearly 50 meetings with House and Senate leadership and members of key congressional committees. Dozens of organizations from diverse sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, finance, labor, retail, hospitality, construction, transportation, and state and local governments collectively called on Congress to pass a targeted, substantial investment in modernizing our nation’s infrastructure. AGC CEO Steve Sandherr, and NAM’s President and CEO Jay Timmons amplified this message in an op-ed published in The Hill newspaper.

Now that President Trump has released his plan, Congress is beginning to hold hearings and will hopefully begin putting together a bipartisan plan of their own. In the meantime Senate Democrats released a partisan plan that calls for paying for over $1 trillion in federal investments by scaling back tax cuts recently provided in the tax bill.

For more information, contact Sean O’Neill at or (202) 547-8892.
Tell Congress to Invest in Infrastructure NOW

Congress will commence work on infrastructure legislation in early March, as the Senate and House have set hearings on the president’s infrastructure plan. And, as a part of the recent bipartisan budget agreement, lawmakers are considering spending $20 billion over the remainder of fiscal year 2018 and through fiscal year 2019. As such, it is critical that the construction industry lets Congress know that the time for infrastructure investment is now. Contact your U.S. representative and U.S. senators right now so that they understand that investing in and improving our nation’s infrastructure helps our nation prosper.

For more information, contact Jimmy Christianson at (703) 837-5325.

On March 6, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to present the Trump Administration’s infrastructure plan that would leverage $200 billion in federal dollars to produce $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investments over ten years. The Trump proposal would create a number of new infrastructure funding categories including an incentive grant program and rural infrastructure block grant program.
Smith, Currie & Hancock, LLP

AGC CEO, Stephen Sandherr joined the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) general president in an op-ed in The Houston Chronical, Trump immigration acts will hurt families, slow hurricane recovery, calling on Congress to work with the administration to ensure construction workers with legal work authorization can remain working for construction firms. The op-ed was spurred by the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for individuals from El Salvador, Haiti, and Honduras being ended by the Trump Administration. Of the 300,000 individuals with TPS, more than 50,000 work in the construction industry.

The TPS program is a category of legal status granted to individuals fleeing armed conflict, environments disaster or other extraordinary events resulting in them receiving authorization to work in the United States. The system has existed for decades and involves strong vetting and biometrics. Over the last several months the authorization for TPS was not renewed for several countries, giving them up to 18 months to leave the country. AGC is concerned that the Trump administration’s action could result in 50,000 legal construction workers without work authorization and will increase the workforce shortage in the industry.

For more information, contact Jim Young at youngj@agc.org or (202) 547-0133.
Tell Congress to Approve Composite Plans

Congress recently introduced the AGC-supported Giving Retirement Options to Workers Act (GROW Act), HR 4997. As such, AGC urges you to support the bipartisan bill by contacting your U.S. representative and U.S. senators. The bill would authorize the adoption of composite plans and strengthen the multiemployer pension system.

The legislation was jointly developed and supported by employer and labor organizations. The composite plan is a hybrid of a defined contribution and a defined benefit plan in that it shares risk, provides lifetime income to participants, and limits employer obligations to negotiated contributions. H.R. 4997 is a separate initiative from efforts to address the funding challenges of the PBGC and critically funded plans. AGC is encouraged by the bipartisan bill and will be calling for its swift consideration and enactment alongside our labor partners.

For more information, contact Jim Young at youngj@agc.org or (202) 547-0133.
Upcoming Events

March 13, 2018
WebEd: Scheduling Best Practices
2 to 3 p.m.

March 21, 2018
WebEd: The AGC Lean Construction Education Program Presents: Ask the Instructor
2 to 3 p.m.

March 18-23, 2018
Construction Project Manager Course
Atlanta, Georgia

April 4-6, 2018 
Safety Management Training Course 
Pawtucket, Rhode Island

May 22-23, 2018 
2018 ACI-NA/ACC/AGC Airport Construction Strategy Summit 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

AGC News

This year, AGC celebrates 100 years as the leading association for the construction industry. To commemorate this momentous occasion, AGC has created a centennial website where members can learn about the association's rich history, share their own stories, register for upcoming events, and much more.
Many of you already know AGC of America's philanthropic arm, AGC Charities Inc., is undertaking its most ambitious Autodesk Operation Opening Doors project yet. In honor of the association's Centennial Year, AGC Charities is renovating an historic dairy barn to serve as the new national headquarters of the Warrior Canine Connection, a group that works with veterans with invisible wounds to have them train service dogs to help other veterans in need. The process of training the service dogs provides incredible therapeutic value for the veterans with invisible wounds, as this video makes clear. Anyone can contribute to the project by clicking here and selecting the "Operation Opening Doors – Warrior Canine Connection" option. You can also mail a check, payable to AGC Charities Inc., to: AGC Charities, 2300 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22201. And of course, please feel free to contact Brian Turmail at 703-459-0238 or turmailb@agc.org with any questions, to request additional information about the effort or to find out how your firm can be further involved in helping AGC Charities make history this year.
New Steel and Aluminum Tariffs are Likely to Undermine Future Job Gains in the Construction Sector as Firms Will be Forced to Pay More for Key Materials and Trade War Dampens Demand for New Construction

Construction employment increased by 61,000 jobs in February to the highest level since June 2008 as rising pay rates enabled the industry to attract more workers, according to an analysis of new government data by AGC of America. However, association officials cautioned that the Trump administration's newly imposed steel and aluminum tariffs have the potential to undermine future employment growth for the sector.



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