President Trump would largely promote a continuation of the previous four years of labor policy. Federal agencies under Trump control will favor compliance assistance to enforcement actions. It is unclear if the president would rescind or keep in place—as he has—the Obama-era Executive Order 13502, which encourages, but does not require, federal agencies to utilize project labor agreements.
The president issued a Statement of Administration Policy opposing this bill, noting it “would kill jobs,” “empower third-party arbitrators to impose collective bargaining agreements,” “violate workers’ privacy,” “bypass secret-ballot elections,” “abolishes right to work laws,” “legalize ‘secondary boycotts,’” “rush union elections,” and “expansively defin[e] joint employer liability.”
President Trump signed the 2017 tax reform bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), into law that lowered tax rates for corporations and passthrough entities (such as S-corps, limited liability corporations and partnerships); simplified tax accounting for construction businesses, repealed the corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT) and significantly reduced the impact of the individual AMT.
President Trump has proposed tax incentives to “boost tax home pay” and “keep jobs in America” as well as incentives to promote domestic manufacturing, research and development, and additional investment in “Opportunity Zones” created in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
President Trump proposed $1 trillion in direct federal investment in infrastructure in his Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Request to Congress that included $810 billion toward a 10-year surface transportation reauthorization bill and $190 billion for a one-time investment in various types of infrastructure, including “mega-projects”, freight projects, and bridges. His other priorities include:
- Reducing the environmental review and permitting burden;
- Investing equitably in both urban and rural America;
- Improving the resiliency of transportation infrastructure; and
- Empowering states and local governments to make decisions to address their transportation needs.
President Trump campaigned on immigration in 2016 with a hardline stance to protect American jobs, safety, and public resources, and he has followed through, at least where the courts have allowed him to do so. He ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“Dreamers”) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) programs, imposed “zero tolerance” for prosecution on border crossings, declared an emergency on southern border, imposed a travel ban, threatened tariffs on Mexico to limit migrants, restricted legal immigration visas, and imposed family detentions. Almost every one of his policies have limited legal immigration and very little has been done to provide certainty or labor to the construction workforce, albeit for some new construction on the southern border wall. Expect a continuation of restricted policies.
President Trump has allowed states to continue to enact and broaden legalized marijuana use in conflict with federal law. His position on legalizing marijuana use nationally or removing it from the federally controlled substances list remains unclear. When it comes to employers’ rights to maintain drug-free workplaces, President Trump reconfigured an Obama Administration OSHA policy that broadly limited contractors’ ability to conduct post-incident employee drug testing to ensure safe workplaces.
The Trump Administration OSHA has opted against issuing a coronavirus Emergency Temporary Standard to date and placed an infectious disease standard rulemaking under a longer-term action for consideration.
President Trump repealed an OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping rule that would make contractors liable for records in their OSHA logs dating back five-and-a-half years instead of six months.
President Trump strongly opposes the Green New Deal. His administration will implement and defend environmental review and permit streamlining rules, including:
- The new Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which determines and clarifies which waters are fall under federal jurisdiction and require extensive federal permits before work can begin.
- Updates to streamline the National Environmental Policy Act – a review process for federal actions that often takes several years to complete causing delay for infrastructure projects.
- Updates to clarify often-litigated elements of the Endangered Species Act: definitions, critical habitat, protections for threatened species, and the consultation process.
President Trump opposes a government-run health care system and the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). During his first term, he supported congressional efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, repealed the individual mandate that forced people to buy health insurance and taxed those who could not afford it, and expanded access to Association Health Plans (AHPs) that allow small business to pool risk across state lines.