Today ATA Senior Vice President Tim Lynch told the U.S.House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies that the federal government must provide the leadership and resources necessary to facilitate the safe and efficient movement of goods on the nation’s highway system. Lynch said the United States can no longer afford to spend limited federal resources on projects that do not meet important national goals.The United States has been living off the transportation infrastructure built by past generations. Failure to keep up with the demands imposed on these systems by population and economic growth has weakened the nation’s competitive position relative to other countries. America’s aging infrastructure is in desperate need of repair and expansion. Lynch said that congestion costs, caused by inefficiencies in the system, are rapidly approaching $100 billion annually. Eliminating bottlenecks on our highways and at our ports and border crossings will greatly enhance America’s competitive positioning.Failing to address growing congestion problems will cause costs to rise, translating into higher consumer prices and slower job growth, weakening the United States’ ability to compete in the global economy.
Necessary highway improvements come at an enormous cost and ATA believes that increasing the fuel tax is the only viable solution to the current highway funding crisis that is now available. Trucking companies are willing to support an increase in their highway user fee payments, provided the revenue is dedicated to funding projects that address the most critical highway needs.In his testimony,Lynch also said the U.S. has the most restrictive truck weight regulations of any developed country. Easing these overly restrictive limitations would deliver strong economic, environmental and safety benefits. To take advantage of the benefits that productivity increases can deliver, Congress must reform its laws to give states greater flexibility to change their size and weight regulations with oversight by the Federal Highway Administration.The testimony may be found here.Contact: Tim Lynch at email@example.com.
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