During his annual State of the Industry address at American Trucking Associations’ 2023 Management Conference & Exhibition, ATA President Chris Spear emphasized a need for litigation reform and the repeal of a federal excise tax on new trucks.
In a response to the trucking industry dragging its feet, this year Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) unveiled the Modern, Clean and Safe Trucks Act of 2023, which would repeal the tax. “It’s time to repeal this outdated and onerous tax on our Hoosier truckers,” Young said. House lawmakers introduced a similar bill. Both measures await consideration in a committee.
“Trial lawyers chasing jackpot justice, self-promoting union bosses and delusional environmental extremists. Together, they constitute a clear threat to our industry’s ability to grow and support our nation’s economic security,” Spear said.
He continued, “If you belong to a state association and want to put trial lawyers on their heels, speak up. Help make lawsuit abuse a priority in your state capital. Lend your support and testimony. Jackpot justice has no place in the courtroom and no place in our industry.”
Spear also made comments about the California Air Resources Board’s mandate for manufacturers to transition from selling diesel-powered trucks and vans to selling electric zero-emission trucks.
“We stand alongside the California Trucking Association as they file suit against the California Air Resources Board: an unelected, ill-informed band of extremists who have no clue the impact their timelines and targets will have on our economy,” Spear explained.
In terms of diversity, Spear gave attention to the Women In Motion program as a response to the need to recruit and retain more women.
“The purpose of Women In Motion,” according to ATA, “is to promote and support the advancement of women in the trucking industry by providing access to robust training, mentorship and networking programs, advocating for policies and practices that create a level playing field for women in the industry, and fostering communication and collaboration among women and their allies.”
“These are today’s stakes, which underscores why advocacy matters. Without a seat at the table, our industry — our way of life — could look entirely different over the next decade,” Spear added. “Which is why we must evolve and adapt more quickly than any threat that comes our way.”