Trucking Hours Rule Will Harm Manufacturers Competitiveness

By October 7, 2011Transportation

Manufacturers fully support the request made this week by House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor to the President to withdraw the Department of Transportation’s proposed changes to the trucking hours of service rules.  Citing a $1 billion  regulatory burden imposed by these changes and specific impacts to small business, the two House leaders identified this proposed rule as a “helpful first step toward lowering the $1.75 trillion annual cost of federal regulations.”

Manufacturers are heavily dependent on a healthy and competitive trucking sector.  Approximately 80 of shipments measured by value move by truck in the United States and the added costs of the proposed hours of service rule will create unwelcome challenges during a time of high fuel costs and continued economic recovery.  

The federal data shows that current rules have proven successful in achieving reductions in truck-related fatalities and truck accidents.  As we have noted in a comment submitted to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration earlier this year, the proposed hours of service rule changes will undermine manufacturers’ competitiveness, harm productivity and translate to higher consumer prices. 

The proposed rule is inconsistent with the President’s Executive Order on improving Regulation and Regulatory Review and manufacturers encourage the President and House leaders to work together to relieve this anticipated burden on our economy.     

Robyn Boerstling is director of transportation and infrastructure policy, National Association of Manufacturers.

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