On July 9, 2014, Trucking Alliance board members Steve Williams, chairman of Maverick USA, and Kevin Knight, chairman of Knight Transportation, attended a private White House briefing with Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
Williams and Knight attended with 40 other business executives as part of an all-day briefing hosted by the White House Business Council and Business Forward on the critical need to persuade Congress to pass a long-term transportation funding bill.
Most of the executives represented large manufacturing and shipping companies, and they expressed concern that the United States is falling behind other industrialized countries in how much is being invested in transportation infrastructure. For example, while China spends around nine percent of its GDP on infrastructure, the United States only spends around two percent.
“The implications of an insolvent highway trust fund are obvious,” commented Williams. “A failure to recognize the importance of a long term a-political infrastructure strategy will have a deleterious affect on highway safety, the environment and the economy.”
“Transportation used to have bipartisan support, but now we’re busy having philosophical discussions about government spending,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
A few days after the briefing, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a six month stopgap measure to keep the Highway Trust Fund from falling into a negative cash balance. The Senate is expected to pass a similar measure, but no long-term legislation is expected.