National Trade Group CEO Says Infrastructure Plan Bad for Economy, Workers
National Trade Group CEO Says Infrastructure Plan Bad for Economy, Workers

By Bowen Xiao

The CEO of a national trade association representing more than 21,000 members across the country says there’s a number of ideas and proposals in the $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan that would hurt taxpayers and those in the construction industry.

Michael D. Bellaman the President and CEO of Associated Builders and Contractors, said that while infrastructure is something in need of funding and repair, the projects, many of which relate to social infrastructure, seem to be “more politically driven.”

During a wide-ranging interview with The Epoch Times, Bellaman said the plan poses “real challenges” to the construction industry. There are the tax hikes on job-creating constructions firms (traditionally the highest taxed industry) who are still recovering from the pandemic.

“About 98 percent of construction companies employ less than 100 people,” he said. “These are family businesses, small businesses. Raising taxes takes out dollars that we’ve seen companies invest into their businesses.” 

Then there’s President Joe Biden’s support of government-mandated project labor agreement schemes (PLA’s) that scraps open and fair competitive bidding on contracts to build taxpayer-funded construction projects. PLA’s are given mostly to unionized contractors and workforces. Bellaman noted that 87 percent of the construction industry employs non-union labor.

At the same time, the infrastructure plan calls on Congress to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which aims to “guarantee union and bargaining rights for public service workers.”

“Your essentially eliminating 87 percent of the construction companies that are betting on the work,” Bellaman told The Epoch Times. “I think that’s a huge, huge problem. Now by putting in the PRO Act, they’re basically trying to force all non-union labor to become union labor. It obviously eliminates worker choice.”

Construction companies should compete for the work on behalf of the American taxpayer, said Bellaman. “Raising taxes on companies and then not allowing those companies to compete—I don’t really think it’s fair,” he said. 

The PLA’s don’t “make any kind of economic sense,” he added, noting that it drives up costs by 12–18 percent, which results in fewer infrastructure improvements and reduced construction industry job creation.

Construction workers move a scaffold tower in Manhattan, New York on July 2, 2020. (Chung I Ho/The Epoch Times)

Only 12.7 percent of America’s private construction workforce in 2020 belonged to a union, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to Bellaman, the PRO Act should be eliminated from the infrastructure plan.

Workers in the United States can choose how to go about their careers, Bellaman said. They have the right to choose to join a union, they have the right to choose not to join a union, they have the right to choose to work independently, become an instructor, or start their own company. Once you eliminate that choice, he says, it becomes problematic.

The Biden administration should look into innovative public-private partnerships, something the government has previously used in the past, according to Bellaman. These partnerships can also help fund part of the infrastructure, he said, without relying so much on tax hikes.

To his knowledge the administration has not spoken with the construction industry or Associated Builders and Contractors during its formulating of the infrastructure plan. He said they have offered their ideas to the administration and welcome any opportunity to discuss the package.

Much of Biden’s infrastructure plan includes climate change initiatives. According to Bellaman, the market place has already been building green infrastructure and projects over the past decades. However the construction around solar farms and wind energy over the past years had “been done in a much more responsible sense in terms of supply and demand.” 

It’s tough to be optimistic about bipartisanship amid the current rhetoric and narrative, but Bellaman said it is definitely needed.

“Construction companies guarantee the performance of infrastructure,” he said. “Construction companies guarantee the schedule. Construction companies guarantee the budget. Construction companies guarantee the talent that they put on the construction field that deliver that work. If there’s anything that’s wrong, they provide a warranty to fix that work. Construction companies that build and deliver long lasting projects are critical to our infrastructure.”

Affiliate News Feeds

  • Reuters
  • Washington Examiner
  • The Federalist
  • The Epoch Times
  • The Guardian
  • The Gateway Pundit
  • Judicial Watch

By Naveen Athrappully France is banning short-haul domestic flights when there is a regular and frequent train option that takes less than two and a half hours, after a 2021 climate law, No… [...]

By Katabella Roberts House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) vowed on Sunday that the fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will not move forward unless the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate ends. Speaking on Fox Business Network’s “Sunday… [...]

By Jim Hoft, The Gateway Pundit Sam Bankman-Fried, the CEO of FTX cryptocurrency exchange, announced in May that he would donate “north of $100 million” and up to a “soft… [...]

California lawmakers are once again poised to introduce legislation to tax Big Oil despite public backlash over a similar move earlier this year. [...]

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in a case about whether a custom webpage designer who disagrees with LGBT marriage can refuse to create a website for a same-sex… [...]

President Joe Biden is considering the idea of removing the COVID-19 vaccination mandate for U.S. service members, though he backs Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s continued support for the measure. [...]

Even corrupt corporate media are willing to acknowledge the risk of nuclear war is 'now a daily issue for the Biden administration.' [...]

A legal rep for the Loudoun County School Board engaged in witness tampering during an investigation into an alleged sexual assault. [...]

The attack on Lorie Smith is both authoritarian and unconstitutional. [...]

A recently discovered filing in a court case relating to Big Tech censorship revealed that the office of Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs coordinated with Twitter to censor election… [...]

The Biden administration has claims it drained the heavily depleted U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in order to save the “global economy.” The White House’s International Energy Affairs adviser, Amos… [...]

To some, it’s an arcane discussion among constitutional scholars that reads like cement. To others, it’s a brazen grab for “runaway legislative power” by state lawmakers who say the U.S.… [...]

Labour-endorsed study finds initiative would save families thousands of pounds, cut benefits spending and raise tax revenuesFree universal preschool childcare and more funding for after-school clubs could increase government revenues… [...]

Union recommends members reject latest offer and adds 24-27 December strike but drops overtime ban Hopes of a deal to avert severe Christmas rail disruption were dashed on Monday night… [...]

PM caves in as up to 100 Tory MPs threaten to rebel, leading Labour to accuse him of putting party before countryRishi Sunak is to drop compulsory housebuilding targets to… [...]

Kari Lake told Tucker Carlson on Monday night following the 2020 Arizona midterm election for governor that was awarded to Katie Hobbs. Previously, Tucker Carlson told Kari Lake that the… [...]

Dr. Simone Gold, President and Chairman of America’s Frontline Doctors, wrote a letter to Elon Musk on Monday, asking to be included in a team of medical experts who will… [...]

The Gateway Pundit reported on thermal drone video showing a massive group of illegal aliens marching like soldiers and illegally crossing into private property into Eagle Pass, Texas one day after Chuck… [...]

Top Headlines of the Week Press Releases Judicial Watch: Secret Service Has Repeatedly Changed Story on Existence of Hunter Biden Gun Records Judicial Watch announced recently that the United States… [...]

From The European Conservative: In recent days, we have seen news reports proclaiming the Ukrainian victory along the western bank of the Dnipro River in the city of Kherson. These… [...]

Secret Service Repeatedly Changes Its Story on Hunter Biden Gun Records What is the Secret Service Hiding about Biden Raid on Trump’s Home? Judicial Watch Sues to Find Out! Judicial… [...]

USNN2020

USNN World News (USNN) USNN World News Corporation is a media company consisting of a series of sites specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information, local,...