1. Infrastructure Legislation to be Anticipated in 2020
House Democrats have announced their intention to unveil a large infrastructure plan later this month. While talks regarding infrastructure have been numerous over the past few years, both chambers agree on the need to address the issue. The Senate has announced intentions to bring highway and transit legislation to the floor that has been on hold for months.
NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA is encouraged by the bicameral interest in revitalizing our nation’s infrastructure and encourages both chambers to act on the multiple endorsements they have made. Our contractors only stand to benefit from a broad increase in work aimed at renewing our aging infrastructure.
2. Small Business Administrator Approved by the Senate
Earlier this month, the Senate approved Jovita Carranza, President Trump's pick to lead the Small Business Administration. This follows the nearly year-long gap after the previous administrator Linda McMahon left the position. Carranza, who spent much of her professional life working for UPS and most recently as a Treasury Department official, is expected to focus her efforts on expanding access to capital for small businesses and increasing opportunities for women business owners. Her confirmation received broad bipartisan support and praise from many business groups.
NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA looks forward to working with Administrator Carranza in her new role within the SBA and will be supporting her efforts to better the opportunities for the nearly 3,200 NECA small business contractors. The relationship between NECA and the SBA has been productive throughout the years and we are optimistic that Administrator Carranza’s confirmation will only further that path forward.
3. United States and China Sign Trade Agreement
On January 15, 2020, the United States and China signed a “Phase One” trade deal.
NECA’s Look Ahead: The deal requires structural reforms and other changes to China’s economic and trade regime concerning intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange. The Phase One Agreement also includes a commitment by China that it will make substantial additional purchases of U.S. goods and services in the coming years. Importantly, the agreement establishes a strong dispute resolution system that ensures prompt and effective implementation and enforcement. The United States, as part of the deal, has agreed to modify its Section 301 tariff actions in a significant way.