Federal Contractor Report
June 2018
Federal Government

On June 6, the House overwhelmingly passed (408-2) the 2018 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). WRDA authorizes billions in funding for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works projects, including navigation (dredging, locks), flood control (levees), hydropower (dams), recreation (parks), and water supply. AGC is committed to working with Congress to strengthen the legislation to include the Securing Required Funding for Water Infrastructure Now Act and the reauthorization of the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act. The Senate is expected to vote on its version of WRDA in the coming weeks. AGC is following both bills closely and advocating for AGC priorities in both the Senate and House WRDA bills. AGC testified before the committee earlier this year. You can read AGC’s list of recommendations here.

For more information, contact Jordan Howard at Jordan.Howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.

As the Trump Administration faces the long task to "repeal and replace" the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, district courts have become the latest battleground. On June 8, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia issued an injunction on the 2015 rule, effectively shielding 11 states as their challenge of the rule moves through the court. An existing injunction has been in place since 2015 covering 13 other states, bringing the total number of states protected by an injunction to twenty-four. District courts are also handling requests for injunctions in Ohio and Texas.

Following in the tradition of Presidents Bush’s "greening the government" and Obama’s "federal sustainability" efforts, President Trump ordered federal agencies to meet statutory requirements for environmental performance and prioritize actions that reduce waste and enhance the resilience of federal infrastructure and operations. Trump’s May 17 Executive Order Regarding Efficient Federal Operations takes a less prescriptive approach and provides agencies greater flexibility in meeting existing requirements than Obama’s now rescinded 2015 order – which set far-reaching goals for federal buildings and fleets beginning in 2016 through 2025 and beyond.
Smith, Currie & Hancock, LLP
Upcoming Events

On June 6, AGC of America’s Utility Infrastructure Division Director, Allen Gray, participated on a four-person panel before the House Democratic Blue Dog Coalition Task Force to address rural development. In addition to AGC, the panel consisted of representatives of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, telecommunications industry, community colleges and the construction industry. The panel provided input on issues ranging from education/training, broadband access to water/wastewater and transportation infrastructure.

Allen focused particularly on rural infrastructure needs and funding. Investing in rural water/waste water and transportation infrastructure is a prerequisite to building a foundation to attract business, a workforce and connecting rural areas to the greater community.

For more information contact Allen Gray at Allen.Gray@AGC.org or 704-537-5321.
Construction Materials Costs on the Rise

On June 12, Senate Republicans blocked consideration of AGC-supported bipartisan legislation that would require congressional approval of tariffs imposed for national security purposes, including both the 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum. This comes on the heels of producer price index figures showing, from May 2017 to May 2018, a jump of 17.3 percent for aluminum mill shapes and 10.5 percent for steel mill products. The U.S. imposed steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union on June 1 and are not reflected in the current data. Contact the president and your members of Congress to tell them to end steel and aluminum tariffs hurting your construction business.

For more information, contact Jimmy Christianson at christiansonj@agc.org or (703) 837-5325.
Construction Equipment, Products and Materials Could be Included

On May 29, the White House announced its intent to impose 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of imported Chinese goods, some of which could include construction equipment, products and materials (e.g., concrete or mortar mixers; electric signaling items for traffic or safety control; elevators and conveyors; tower cranes; tunneling machinery; water pumps, etc.). AGC previously urged the administration to remove construction-related goods from the proposed tariff list, as they do not appear to meet the intended purpose of the tariffs: retaliation for China’s state-directed intellectual property theft. The final list of Chinese goods subject to the tariffs was released on June 15, with the tariffs set for imposition shortly thereafter.

For more information, contact Jimmy Christianson at christiansonj@agc.org.

AGC joined the H-2B Workforce Coalition in letters to U.S. House and Senate appropriators ahead of debate on the a fiscal year (FY) 2019 funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security. The letter was spurred by a perennial shortage of H-2B visas for seasonal workers. H-2B visas are one of the only legal programs for construction employers to use foreign labor for temporary or seasonal work. The letter calls on Congress to raise the number of visas allowed annually to meet economic needs. AGC has long advocated for increasing H-2B visas, along with other immigration reform priorities.

For more information, contact Jim Young at youngj@agc.org or (202) 547-0133.
Register Now for Form I-9 and E-Verify Two-Part WebEd Series

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has ramped up workplace inspections, increasing audits and arrests as part of an effort to find illegal workers and deter businesses from hiring them. According to recently released data, ongoing worksite cases have already doubled in fiscal year 2018 in comparison to last year. In light of these developments, don’t miss out on this valuable AGC WebEd series and learn how to stay a step ahead of a potential audit.
AGC News
In conjunction with AGC’s 2018 workforce development campaign, we are currently seeking success stories and best practices in the areas of construction workforce development, industry image enhancement and industry recruiting. Our goal is to gather and share these success stories with member firms and AGC chapter staff in the hopes of increasing knowledge sharing and program collaboration, communicating lessons learned, and sparking innovative workforce solutions. Submitted success stories will have the opportunity to be featured in AGC’s Workforce Development Plan and a number of other AGC publications, webinars and the AGC website.

Do you have a successful workforce program to share? If so, please submit your programs through ProposalSpace. For questions, please contact Carly Trout at carly.trout@agc.org. Submit your program today and help AGC build the industry’s workforce!

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.



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